Football fans pack Norwich pub for England v Czech Republic
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
England’s place in the next phase of the Euros may have been secured 24 hours earlier, but it did not prevent fans taking to the pubs.
Long before kick-off, England supporters knew Gareth Southgate’s side would be progressing to the last 16 regardless of the result against the Czech Republic.
But in The Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road, Norwich, supporters were in good spirits, with Three Lions on their shirts, eager to take in the group decider.
While England were guaranteed a place in the final 16 whatever happens, there was still the small matter of the potential route to the final to be sealed.
And with the daunting prospect of facing either Germany, Portugal or France awaiting the group winner, not all in the pub were hoping for an England win.
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Plenty of chanting, singing and clapping could be heard from outside the pub, as its outdoor seating area was packed with supporters.
Among those cheering on England, Oliver Roberts from Norwich, was hoping for a 2-1 win.
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He said: “The atmosphere is amazing, despite Covid. We have been locked up for a year. I think people are just happy to be let out and release some energy.
“It’s England, we are all together. The whole country unites. Everyone is behaving and abiding by Covid regulations. People just want to have a good time.
“It has got to be a 2-1 win tonight. Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, the two goal scorers.”
The pub’s general manager Isabel Blythe said although it was not the number they would usually expect with an England match, it was the best they can do under current coronavirus restrictions.
She added: “It’s lovely to see people out enjoying themselves but we still have to follow the restrictions. But hopefully in July, with increased vaccinations, we are going to see what we used to see, like when we had fans at Carrow Road – which seems like a distant memory now.
“With every England game there is lots of hope, but sometimes it doesn’t quite go how we want it to but we are through anyway so I think they are just out for a good time.
“It doesn’t matter if you're a little kiddywink or you’re on a Zimmer frame, everyone wants to come out together for events like this. Everyone is very excited.”