Jubilation across the county as England take penalty win
PUBLISHED: 00:21 04 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 04 July 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Honking horns, jubilant cheers and chants of “football’s coming home” echoed throughout the county and beyond as England celebrated its latest victory in the World Cup.
Pubs were packed with people watching the England vs Colombia match which saw England win on penalties, and football fans had a great time cheering the Three Lions onto the next stage in the World Cup.
Among the pubs where people gathered was the Railway Tavern in Dereham which has become one of the most popular places in Norfolk to watch England games.
About 500 people packed into the pub, with 150 fans watching from a specially constructed grandstand and others watched on 20 different screens.
When Harry Kane scored the place erupted with beer flying everywhere, then silence fell when Colombia levelled at the end of normal time.
As extra time was played, fans remained hopeful with ‘it’s coming home’ still ringing out, and when the final penalty was scored, the pub erupted into a frenzy of celebration. Supporters were crowd surfing from the grandstand and many were being carried on other people’s shoulders and singing could be heard across the town.
Mark Rock, 25, who lives Ashill, near Dereham, said: “It was good, brilliant, fully deserved, we go through on penalties, finally!”
Asked how far he thinks England will go, he said: “All the way, it’s coming home!”
Gesturing to the grandstand, with crowds in fine voice, he added: “I just heard off the grapevine up there, it’s coming home.”
Luke Cook, 23, of Dereham, said: “I think they defended well, very well, the finish wasn’t quite there but they defended very well.
“It was very nervy, we done it the hard way but we done it.”
Asked on England’s chances in the rest of the tournament, he added: “Final mate, we got it, we got it in the bag.”
There were similar scenes all over the county, including at OPEN in Norwich where fans watched on with baited breath as England careered towards the dreaded penalty shootout.
The atmosphere at Open Norwich was tense for most of the night during a cagey game, but as England took a grip of the game voices lifted.
But the venue fell silent after Colombia’s painful and undeserved stoppage time equaliser.
Disgruntled England fans shared their frustrations among each other following the full time whistle.
Eva Roberts, 22, said: “We were comfortable but not threatening. I’m happy Vardy came on but why is Sterling on there? He hasn’t turned up all tournament.”
About 300 people were in good spirits in the Kings Arms, in Great Yarmouth, including Nathan Kemp who has dressed up as Saint George for the match.
Landlord Mickey Pywell said it was the biggest crowd so far of the tournament in his pub.
The pub erupted with joy when England scored the winning penalty. Looks of disbelief mingled with looks of sheer joy.
Mr Kemp, an offshore worker, admitted he could not watch penalties. But on the win he triumphantly shouted: “Bring on Sweden!”
Fans’ views on the England vs Colombia match
• Adam Thompson, 34, from Norwich, said: “What a rollercoaster. I lost faith in extra time but now I feel ashamed - how could I not know football was coming home?
“I think most people were saying this is typical England, assuming we were going out on pens; now everyone is saying they knew it all along.
“But who cares now, it was always going to be a drama with England.”
• Dawn Burgess, landlady at Notleys in Lowestoft, said: “England got great support in here tonight, and I was on the edge of my seat and there was a point where I was actually shaking.
“The crowd in here were just supporting England all the way even when they missed penalties.”
• Heather Guilfoyle, 61, who travelled from Australia for the World Cup in King’s Lynn, said: “It’s so exciting in King’s Lynn - there’s banging, yelling and roaring.
“England are trying their best.”