England joy after late, late show

A WAVE of excitement mixed with relief swept across Suffolk as England served up their version of the late, late show in Nuremberg.As expected, thousands of fans at home, in the pub and in offices across the county tuned in to see the team seal their place in the last 16 of the World Cup yesterday afternoon.

A WAVE of excitement mixed with relief swept across Suffolk as England served up their version of the late, late show in Nuremberg.

As expected, thousands of fans at home, in the pub and in offices across the county tuned in to see the team seal their place in the last 16 of the World Cup yesterday afternoon.

It may not have been a vintage display, but the three lions managed to claw their way past a plucky Trinidad and Tobago side who nearly caused one of the great World Cup upsets. And to mark the victory a new Evening Star banner has been unveiled on Ipswich Cornhill saying “Well done England!”.

Ipswich town centre pubs were full to the rafters, with pub bosses already forecasting a profitable summer.

Extra staff were drafted in to cope with the rush, while beer orders were doubled to meet demand.

But while most were happy enough to cheer England to victory on Suffolk soil, one group of footy fans from Ipswich were lucky enough to get tickets to the game.

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The nine members of the Ipswich Caribbean Steel Band was invited to play at a hospitality event prior to kick-off, before being whisked off to the stadium to see Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard win it for the whites.

Band member Dave Claxton described the experience as “unbelievable”.

He said: “The whole day was so well organised.

“We played in front of 400 guests including Terry Butcher, Mike Parry from Talk Sport and Henry Winter from the Daily Telegraph at the event, which was right by the lake.

“We played for a couple of hours and then packed the gear away and were given tickets to see the game.

“The atmosphere inside the stadium was fantastic. It was full of patriotic England fans, while the Trinidad and Tobago supporters were singing their hearts out and really enjoying the occasion too.

“The whole trip was a highlight and the match was the icing on the cake.”

Meanwhile, some supporters were catching the action in an unusual spot in Ipswich - St Nicholas church centre.

Kevin Sullivan, 33, was watching the match with colleagues from Pretty's Solicitors. He said: “It is an unusual place to watch football but we're hoping it might provide some divine inspiration.

“The last time I was here was for my wedding reception so, hopefully, it will prove to be almost as good a night as that.”

Scott Earey, 29, was with friends from Ensors. He said: “It is an unusual location but it's nice to be able to watch the game somewhere relaxed.”

Are you going World Cup crazy? Call Evening Star World Cup reporter Neil Puffett on 01473 324796.

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