Outdoor football screening in Norwich proves to be a damp squib - much like England’s World Cup performances

Very few spectators watch the last England game of the World Cup at the big screen at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley Very few spectators watch the last England game of the World Cup at the big screen at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
6:30 AM

When a giant outdoor screen was booked for outside Norwich’s Forum, officials must have envisaged Millennium Plain full of jubilant England fans celebrating their team’s success in the World Cup.

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Very few spectators watch the last England game of the World Cup at the big screen at the Forum. From left, Graham Fiddy, Aaron and Carl Forder. Picture: Denise BradleyVery few spectators watch the last England game of the World Cup at the big screen at the Forum. From left, Graham Fiddy, Aaron and Carl Forder. Picture: Denise Bradley

The big screen between St Peter Mancroft Church and the Forum was all ready to help celebrate a sizzling summer of sport.

However, the wet weather and the England team’s equally damp squib of a performance conspired against the success of the event last night.

After carrying the hopes of the nation to the hot and humid conditions of Brazil, disappointing defeats to Italy and Uruguay meant that a youthful England side had no hope of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the tournament.

Costa Rica already knew that they had qualified from a tough group when the two teams lined up against each other at 5pm British Summer Time yesterday.

Very few spectators watch the last England game of the World Cup at the big screen at the Forum. Alice, left, and Sue Cooper. Picture: Denise BradleyVery few spectators watch the last England game of the World Cup at the big screen at the Forum. Alice, left, and Sue Cooper. Picture: Denise Bradley

The match had all the hallmarks of an uneventful game in a World Cup that has already served up lots of thrills and stunning goals.

And so it proved with a much changed England team playing out a 0-0 stalemate, with very little goalmouth action.

As the EDP attended the outdoor screening to interview the masses during the last ten minutes of the match, only a handful of committed fans remained seated on the steps outside the Forum or propped up against hoardings waiting for England’s World Cup agony to end.

Carl Forder, 46, who runs the Pottergate Pantry, in Norwich, said: “It is nice to see the youngsters playing and we have to have more English players in the Premier League. It has been a great World Cup so far, but England has been so disappointing. If we were through [to the knock-out stages] this place would have been heaving.”

Sue Cooper, from Norwich, stayed for the final ten minutes of the match and offered some optimism following the latest England football failure.

“I think because they are a young team, they have done okay and I did not think we would get out of the group. Players like Sterling have been good and if you give them another four years to mature, I think we would have a good team,” she said.

The outdoor screen outside the Forum will continue to show sport this summer, including Andy Murray’s quest to defend his Wimbledon men’s singles title, the stages of the Tour de France, and the remaining 5pm kick-off World Cup games.

The screen will also be showing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom tomorrow night - a film title that sums up Roy Hodgson’s experiences in Brazil over the last two weeks.

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