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East Lancashire pubs get in gear for England’s quarter-final match
PUBS in East Lancashire are expecting a bumper weekend as England’s European Championships campaign really gets down to business.
The Three Lions take on Italy tomorrow in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 and are only three wins from the ultimate glory.
England have never won the competition, despite qualifying for seven of the previous 13 tournaments, which have been held every four years since 1960.
Interest in the championships was somewhat muted as the tournament got under way on June 8, having been overshadowed by the impending London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which took place days before the opening ceremony at the new national stadium in Warsaw, Poland.
But with the exciting football that has been on show and with England’s success so far in winning their group interest and excitement are beginning to grow.
England drew their oppening game 1-1 with France and followed it with the dramatic defeat of Sweden 3-2 before putting out the joint-host nation Ukraine out 1-0.
Hannah Kettleton, manager of Walkabout, Hammerton Street, Burnley, said it had been fantastic so far.
She said: “As it has built up the atmosphere has become electric. And there has been no trouble whatsoever which is good for football.
“We did really well for the first three games. It has been fantastic. But I know some have struggled.
“I wouldn’t normally watch the games myself but even I have found myself shouting at the TV.
“Tomorrow is going to be excellent. We are expecting about 350 people in.
“We are still preparing for the game and then hopefully England will win and we will do it all again for the semis and again for the final.”
Landlord of The Bridgewater, Railway Road, Darwen, Adam Hulme, said he expected the pub to be very busy.
He said: “We were happily surprised with the number of people we had for the first England game, and as each game has gone on we have got busier and busier.
“I’ve also noticed it with table bookings. The phone has been red hot with people trying to book tables for the match.
“There is a very healthy Italian population in Darwen and a lot come in here, so there is a lot of good-natured banter.
“I am really looking forward to it. We are showing the 5-1 win over Germany before the game as well.”
Mr Hulme said he was already planning for England getting to the final.
He said: “We are already putting things in place in case they get to the semi-final on Thursday.
“I’ve had to order in extra beer and got my staff on standby.
“And I am already planning for if they get to the final.
“It is going to be very exciting.”