I'm not that bothered if football comes home - just let me sleep

England's Harry Kane (left) and Declan Rice celebrate after during the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 ma

England's Harry Kane (left) and Declan Rice celebrate after during the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. - Credit: PA

I can’t say I’m a football fan. But even I’ve got to admit that Euro fever has snuck up on me.  

Unlike die-hard fans I’m yet to adopt one of the slightly weird rituals they all seem to have. 

Across the office I hear declarations of: “I have to wear my lucky pants.” “I’ve got to have burgers for dinner.” “The TV has to be muted but the subtitles can be on.” 

Instead, like many, I head to the pub for the fun of it and spend two hours pretending to know what’s going on.  

And it’s great, not just for spectators but for businesses too. 

England's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 20

England's Harry Kane celebrates - Credit: PA

It’s wonderful to see staff rushed off their feet and grinning. To see people hanging around for a chip butty on the walk home. To see signs of normal life in general. 

But there’s always a few who take it too far. As someone who lives near a handful of infamous sports pubs in the city, I hear all of it.

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Every. Last. Note.  

First – around 11pm, come the likes of Kev.  

How do I know he’s called Kev, you might ask? Because his exasperated mate (his name was Steve – if you’re interested) was hollering it over Kev’s bellowing rendition of Three Lions.  

Then at 2am come the bottle-smashers. 

This is the group who merrily crash their empty beers on everything from lamp posts to bins.  

And at last, perhaps the worst of all, are the 4am gang. 

Inexplicably this is the group who always seems to have adopted an instrument and/or a road sign along their way. 

Now I know I live in a city, I signed up for this and most of the time it just makes me laugh.  

But I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since the Euros started – it doesn’t matter what night of the week it is – and then I emerge into town to find it looks like a wasteland.  

So please, Norwich, enjoy it while it lasts.  

But when football comes home (which it will) have your fun and then, quite frankly, put a sock in it.

  • Clinchgate's got some Love Island echoes

On a venn diagram of Matt Hancock and Love Island you would not expect the overlap to be... toe-curling kissing footage.  

And yet, 2021 has delivered the gift that no one wanted.  

Love Island only started on Monday and producers have already given us strangers sucking each other’s toes.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Downing Street, L

Matt Hancock has quit as health secretary. - Credit: PA

A bit gross, sure, but we watch it through our fingers anyway.  

But even these addictively cringey offerings cannot eclipse the antics of the former health secretary and his government-funded aide. 

Both make for somewhat alarming viewing – although Matt Hancock’s clinchgate clearly has deep-rooted implications that 20-something singletons looking for love do not.  

But the similarities don’t stop there.

Like the Islanders, Mr Hancock is no stranger to public scrutiny – though perhaps more justifiably so.  

Like the Islanders, Mr Hancock’s romantic life dominates the headlines.  

And – most worryingly – like the Islanders, Mr Hancock is reportedly already banking on a high-profile career after an image of him in a ‘clinch’ was splattered on the Sun’s front page. 

The Suffolk MP (rightly) told us time after time to follow scientific advice in order to protect our NHS. 

And it was difficult but the vast majority were happy to if it meant protecting our loved ones and the most vulnerable in society.

To see this ‘clinch’ was a kick in Britain’s metaphorical teeth.

So accept your irrelevancy, Mr Hancock, because you don’t deserve our attention.