World Cup woes: disappointment across Norwich pubs as thousands watch England lose

The ecstasy of the equaliser followed by the agony of a winning goal for Uruguay as England fans Vicki Blake and Laura Graver watch the World Cup in the Woolpack in Norwich.  
Photo by Simon Finlay. The ecstasy of the equaliser followed by the agony of a winning goal for Uruguay as England fans Vicki Blake and Laura Graver watch the World Cup in the Woolpack in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Friday, June 20, 2014
8:24 AM

Hopes were running high and the England shirts were out in force in the Fine City.

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The ecstasy of the equaliser followed by the agony of a winning goal for Uruguay as England fans watch the World Cup in the Woolpack in Norwich.  
Photo by Simon Finlay.The ecstasy of the equaliser followed by the agony of a winning goal for Uruguay as England fans watch the World Cup in the Woolpack in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

But at the Woolpack pub, in Golden Ball Street, fans’ cheers were muted when Luis Suarez drilled his second goal of the night past Joe Hart.

It had been a tense second half, with rowdy chants of “Rooney! Rooney” when England pulled level at 75 minutes.

Though England’s defence could not contain Uruguay’s talismanic striker, and with no points from two matches a World Cup exit now looks inevitable.

Jack Burton, 32, from Norwich, was watching the game at the Woolpack.

What World Cup?

It was a tale of two cities.

As football fans crowded into Norwich pubs, a riot van rolled along a ghostly quiet street and diners had no trouble getting into the city’s top restaurants.

But outside of the World Cup bubble there were centres of activity for those who would rather avoid the action in Brazil.

As the match kicked off, six-piece folk band The Kett’s Hill Gang performed by Lloyds Bank in Gentleman’s Walk.

The guitarist joked “they’re going to lose anyway” as they launched into a song, as part of the Head Out Not Home series of outdoor gigs.

Gillian Cannell, who was visiting her mother in Norwich, said it was “definitely a conscious decision” not to watch the match and that the band gave a “lovely performance”.

Even more effort had gone into football-dodging outside The Forum, where a giant screen was showing Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Around 100 film fans perched on the steps, and many were well prepared with camping chairs, blankets and the odd picnic hamper on show.

Amanda Timby, from Norwich, was delighted to be missing Roy’s boys as she tucked into free popcorn and hot chocolate that was being handed out.

She said her tactics were of “avoidance”.

“We’ve got camping chairs and blankets. We’re well prepared for a cold evening. What’s not to like?”

Her friend Gemma Smith, also of Norwich, said: “I don’t mind the

football, but we’re always disappointed.

“I’ll watch the highlights later.”

He said: “I thought we played well and in any other group we might have got through, but unfortunately we had the toughest group,” he said. “Clearly Suarez was the difference.

“I think we were the better team overall, but we didn’t have that killer instinct.

“There weren’t that many mistakes, and that’s why it’s so frustrating.”

Ben Gill-Davis, 27, of Norwich, said the “smug” look on Suarez’s face made the loss even harder to take.

“It’s the same scenario as the Ronaldo wink,” he explained. “It’s so frustrating.”

Jamie Brook, 26, of Norwich, said he felt the team played well, but was saddened by the result.

England face Costa Rica next at 5pm on Tuesday, but if Italy and Costa Rica draw their match tomorrow, England will be eliminated.

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