By George, we’re World Cup crazy!

SUFFOLK: Get your face paint and giant flags at the ready – because the World Cup is just around the corner.

While Fabio fine-tunes his England squad, the nation holds its breath in anticipation and dares to dream of victory in South Africa!

It may only come around every four years, but the greatest competition on earth never fails to deliver ecstasy, agony, joy and despair.

And the pre-tournament hype is already unavoidable.

Stickers are being swapped, fantasy football teams are being chosen – and the question being asked by every footie fan is ‘can we do it this time?’

It’s 44 years since the Sir Alf Ramsey’s great World Cup-winning side lifted the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley in 1966.

Since then we’ve been thwarted by missed penalties, cheated by dubious decisions and let down by our own shortcomings.

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But could it be different this time? An eerie set of coincidences seem to point towards an England triumph, including North Korea’s only other appearance at the competition coming in 1966 and current European Championship holders Spain being the reigning champs in the same year.

The speculation and daydreaming will roll on until the first whistle is blown on June 11.

In the meantime, fans will be busily adorning their homes and cars with the red and white of St George, hanging up World Cup wall charts above shrines to Wayne Rooney, and thinking up excuses to tell the boss for not going in to work.

Walk through Ipswich town centre and the hype is hard to miss. You can buy absolutely anything England-themed to show support for the team this summer – from comedy wigs to flip-flops.

So kit yourself out from head to toe and join The Evening Star’s World Cup fever fiesta.

We’ll be giving away tonnes of England goodies in the lead up to South Africa 2010.

Just drop by and see us in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, or visit our Felixstowe office in Hamilton Road and pick up your free flags, transfers and other World Cup merchandise.

n Send us your photos showing your support for England. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n We’ve gone down with a serious case of World Cup fever ahead of this summer’s big kick-off.

And we’re giving away stacks of great merchandise for fans to get their hands on.

You can show your support for England as they attempt to win the ultimate footballing prize in South Africa.

Just drop into The Evening Star in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, or visit our Hamilton Road office in Felixstowe for your chance to grab some fantastic goodies.

We have thousands of flags, car stickers and transfer tattoos available while stocks last.

And all of these great items can be yours for just �1 – which even includes the cost of your Evening Star.

n Fan-tastic festival

Thousands of football fans are expected to descend on Chantry Park to watch the England team in action on a massive screen in what is thought to be the biggest fan event in the UK.

The Ipswich World Cup Fan Festival will kick off at 2pm on June 12 and include food stands, two 40ft-long bars, children’s games, funfair rides and coverage of other matches, with the big game against Group C rivals the USA starting at 7.30pm.

The two other England first-round matches will also be screened in the park, with the games against Algeria on June 18 and Slovenia on June 23 sure to draw big crowds.

Should Fabio Capello’s men make it through the group stage, the two possible dates for the second-round match have also been pencilled-in.

The fan festival has been organised by promotions firm GroundING and Ipswich Borough Council, with The Evening Star being the main media sponsor.

To reserve tickets or find out more about VIP Golden Circle passes, in order to get closer to the screen, visit www.ipswichfestival.co.uk

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