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Fans urge England on

PUBLISHED: 16:08 07 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 March 2010

IT was a day for stout hearts and nerves of steel as football fans throughout Suffolk anxiously cheered England on against Argentina in one of the biggest match of the World Cup to date.

IT was a day for stout hearts and nerves of steel as football fans throughout Suffolk anxiously cheered England on against Argentina in one of the biggest match of the World Cup to date.

Hundreds of fans had already descended on Brannigans, on Cardinal Park, Ipswich by midday, faces painted England flags and shirts at the ready – it was patriotism at its best.

The room erupted into cheers as Beckham appeared on screen and they booed the Argentineans and their rendition of God Save the Queen could have rivalled that at any football ground.

Hands gripped pint glasses and legs were primed ready to jump and cheer should England score.

As the match began the fans went quiet concentrating on the next 90 minutes. The tension was unbearable as England hovered at the goalmouth, their first chance of a goal 10 minutes into the game.

The atmosphere was electric as the crowd chanted and clapped in support of their country. Most fans were confident that England would win.

Dressed in a wedding dress Tim Jones from Sussex was here on his stag party. His best man Pierre Hazelwood predicted a 2-1 win.

Lee Moore, from Gainsborough in Ipswich said: "They will either win big or lose big. They really need to win today."

His friend Matt Hubson, also from Gainsborough, believed they would have a 50-50 chance but it would be difficult.

There were also plenty of ladies in the room supporting their country. Marianne Thrall, of Rushmere said: "I think it will be hard but I think we will win. It is quite tense in here because people are not sure if they are going to win or not."

Elsewhere fans crowded round televisions in offices and shops to so as not to miss the match.

Meanwhile police urged town centre pubs to close after today's Argentina match in a bid to stop rampaging fans.

The warning comes after rowdy supporters left a trail of devastation in their wake after England's one-all draw on Sunday.

Increased numbers of officers will patrol potential hot spots including Cornhill.

Licensing Officer Bob Coleman, said: "There was trouble on Sunday so we are issuing recommendations to publicans for today's match.

"It's always a good idea to have a break in what may be an all day drinking spree."

PJ McGinty's landlord, Michael Collins, said: "By closing from three until five or six gives people a chance to go home and shower before they go out again in the evenings."

The problem for police is that if one or two pubs close then fans will carry on drinking at other venues.

Mr Coleman said: "We are also recommending large objects are removed from pubs such as ashtrays and that pubs increase the number of staff. We always plan for the worst and hope for the best."

On Sunday disappointed fans, fuelled by pubs open at 10am, roamed the town centre centre.

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