Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Who remembers the World Cup 2018?

Was it really only a month ago that the pubs of New Cross (and indeed of the whole country) were filled with excited crowds cheering on England in the World Cup? It seems like another age in another country now, and faded away so so very quickly, but there were some moments of collective joy along the way weren't there? So just to remind you here's a few photos from those heady July days.

Skehans, Kitto Road, SE14 - after England beat Colombia on penalties people poured out on to the street, singing 'football's coming home' and cheering as passing cars tooted their horns:

 Inside a packed Skehans for the England (2) Sweden (0) game. Standing room only and the most luv'd up atmosphere I have experienced outside of a rave (E for England?). Random strangers hugging each other and sharing round drinks (getting to the bar was difficult) like it was Club UK 1995. And exploding when England scored with beer going everywhere. There were a few Sweden fans in there too, yes including viking hat, but that was all part of the fun and there was no hassle.

It all began to go quiet during the Semi-Final against Croatia. I was in the White Hart when England scored which was pretty joyous, but things soon sobered up. The picture below is from The Montague Arms as time ran out for England. Nobody singing now...

I'm not totally sold on Billy Bragg's 'progressive patriot' notion of Englishness, but one thing that was clear was that the feeling in the pubs during those weeks was a million miles away from the racist, macho hatefulness of the post-English Defence League/Tommy Robinson crew.  Like the England team itself, the crowds were diverse, inclusive and good natured. How it would have turned out if England had won the World Cup... who knows?

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