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10 ways to jump aboard the World Cup bandwagon in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 17:13 14 June 2018

The Adidas Telstar ball which is the official matchball of the 2018 World Cup. Photo: PA / David Davies

The Adidas Telstar ball which is the official matchball of the 2018 World Cup. Photo: PA / David Davies

PA Wire/PA Images

Can’t get enough of the World Cup? Here’s how to fill the next few weeks with more football and Russia

The model of Tatlins Tower at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe model of Tatlins Tower at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

1 Grandstanding

Lots of pubs are putting on themed events for the World Cup, few have built a grandstand. At the Railway Tavern in Dereham up to 500 fans can watch the World Cup on a big screen from a huge garden grandstand.

2 See a summer five-a-side tournament

The grandstand at the Railway Tavern in Dereham.   Picture: Ian BurtThe grandstand at the Railway Tavern in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Football is not just on the telly. When the main season is over many local clubs keep children playing with five-a-side fun. Over the weekend June 23-24 there are tournaments in towns including Fakenham, Holt, Ormesby, Wroxham and Bungay and the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation Summer Cup at the Easton campus of the Easton and Otley College attracts teams from across East Anglia

3 Tour a stadium

If all the pictures being beamed from Russian stadiums make you wonder what goes on at your local ground, take a tour of Carrow Road or Portman Road. There are Norwich City stadium tours of each of the England group matches. For more info see

England’s World Cup opener will be shown on a giant screen in the free FanZone at Portman Road on Monday, June 18. An Ipswich Town stadium tour on June 30 includes access to the dressing rooms, players tunnel, pitch, dug-out and director’s box.

4 Revive memories of the 1966 World Cup

Sir Alf Ramsey guided England to victory in the 1966 World Cup. After retiring as a player the first team he managed was Ipswich Town. He led Ipswich to two promotions and then they finished champions in their first ever season in the top division. See his statue outside Portman Road. Two Town players who definitely won’t be in Ipswich to admire the statue right now are goalkeeper Bart Bialkowski, who is in the Poland World Cup squad, and Denmark’s Jonas Knudsen.

5 Train to be a referee.

From the age of 14 teenagers can get paid to take part in a football game, and pick up some incredibly useful life-skills too, by becoming a ref. The FA runs courses in both Norfolk and Suffolk.

6 Eat blinis

If all this talk of Russia is whetting your appetite for Russian food then try Rasputin restaurant in Swaffham. It serves traditional Russian dishes including blinis, stroganoff, sauerkraut, borsch and Russian salad.

7 Join the royals

The royal families of Europe used to meet at Sandringham – including the doomed Romanovs of Russia, related by marriage to the British royals. Edward VII and his wife also commissioned and collected exquisite items from Russian court jeweller Faberge. Many were modelled on Sandringham pets. Sandringham is open daily until October 21, except July 23-27.

8 Iconic

Visit the Russian Orthodox church in Mettingham, near Bungay.

Founded just 10 years ago, the church of the Ikon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow was purpose-built, with white wooden walls and blue cupolas. There are also Russian Orthodox churches in Norwich and Walsingham.

9 Cold War

Some of the battlefields of the Cold War, waged between the former Soviet Union and the USA and western Europe, were right here in East Anglia – at sites such as the nuclear weapons and radar research facility at Orford Ness, now a wonderfully atmospheric nature reserve run by the National Trust. Huge, mysterious semi-ruined and abandoned buildings are scattered across a site only accessible by boat.

10 The most famous building never built

Tatlin’s Tower was a planned as a monument to the 1917 Russian Revolution. Designed to dwarf the Eiffel Tower, the complex and ambitious iron, glass and steel tower, in the shape of a twin helix, would have stood in St Petersburg. A huge cube at the base of the tower would have held a conference centre and lecture rooms, with a smaller cube above and then a cylinder issuing bulletins and manifestos by telegraph, radio and loudspeaker. The bottom section was designed to rotate once a year, the middle section once a month and the top cylinder once a day. But the 400m-high rotating tower was never built. Now a 10-metre-high model stands outside the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia.

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