Norwich pub hosts Mexican fans

David BaleMexicans living in Norwich have found a home from home in the centre of the city - and have moved in for the duration of the World CupDavid Bale

Mexicans living in Norwich have found a home from home in the centre of the city - and have moved in for the duration of the World Cup.

There may be less than 100 Mexicans in Norwich but those that are here make a quite a lot of noise when they're cheering on their side.

About 40 Mexicans including families packed into the Castle Gates pub in Timberhill yesterday to watch their team on the pub's big screen playing hosts South Africa in the first match of the tournament.

Part of the attraction of the venue is the pub's friendly landlord Graham Patching who has adorned the inside of the pub with various flags of the teams taking part in the World Cup.

Another draw of the watering hole is the Abbot Ale on draught, which Mr Patching assured me was very popular with Mexican punters.

Prominent amongst the flags on show at the pub is the Mexican and fan Juancho Barron, from Heigham Road, said The Castle Gates was a home from home.

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Mr Barron, a development studies student at the UEA, said: 'Most of us study at the UEA. I love football and for the last World Cup I went first to the Murderers but it was too crowded. I came across the street and have been coming to the Castle Gates ever since. I love this place.

'It's a very friendly environment and a home from home for us. Many international people come here and it's a very tolerant place. I will watch all the Mexican matches in here. It's a place where we can all meet up, so it' s like a club in a way.'

Fellow UEA student Rafael Calderon, from Dereham Road, Norwich, said it was a 'very friendly pub that was open to families'.

'I think being such a friendly environment and being open to families is the important point,' he said. 'There are quite a lot of Mexicans at the UEA and most of them will be coming here to watch the matches.'

Both men are optimistic about Mexico's chances in the World Cup, although the team has been quoted at 66-1 to win the tournament by bookmakers.

The Mexico versus South Africa match ended in a draw, 1-1.

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