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'I got drenched in beer but the Euros fanzone was fantastic'

'I got drenched in beer but the Euros fanzone was fantastic' <i>(Image: Andrew Gardner)</i>
'I got drenched in beer but the Euros fanzone was fantastic' (Image: Andrew Gardner)

A football supporter has praised an England fanzone set up for the European Championships as the Three Lions are set to take on the Netherlands to fight for spot in the final.

Noel Sweeney won VIP tickets for the Euros Fanzone in the Valley Gardens in front of St Peter’s Church in Brighton and said he loved watching the “nail-biting” England Round of 16 win against Slovakia.

The 67 -year-old, who is retired, described the scenes at the fanzone as “an absolute frenzy” as soon as the first goal had gone in.

(Image: Andrew Gardner)

 

“Before the goal had gone in it was if people were flying their flags at half-mast, there was so much tension and nervous anticipation. It was as if all hope was lost that England could make it through.

"The atmosphere had changed in a single moment, “The security guard at the VIP section told me and my wife where to stand, as he warned us of a rain of plastic cups and beer and surely enough we got drenched.”

The fixture saw Slovakia take the lead early on with a well-placed strike from the Slovakian forward Ivan Schranz at the 25thminute. All hope seemed lost as England had not scored for the remaining 65 minutes of official game-time. Until some individual brilliance saw the Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham strike a last gasp bicycle kick into the back of the net to equalise and give England some hope in the fifth minute of extra-time. The hope which eventually carried them to win the game from a Harry Kane header in the 91st minute of Additional extra-time and secure their place against Switzerland in the Quarter-finals.

 

(Image: Andrew Gardner)

Noel praised the organisation on how “well-organised” the experience was and that the majority of fans were “well-behaved”. The fanzone invites a footballer to attend each game – Noel met Emile Heskey, former England International, and centre-forward for Liverpool FC and Aston Villa this time around. “Emile Hesky was such a gentleman; he sat with us and was meeting and greeting with fans that were there. He told us about his career, and about his current career in coaching.

 

(Image: Andrew Gardner)

"I don’t know much about football myself, but my wife was absolutely ecstatic to meet him.” Tonight former West Ham player Carlton Cole is at the fanzone for the semi-final fixture between England and the Netherlands.