England v Denmark: Fans in Preston can't wait for big match

It's coming home - nearly!

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:26 pm

And fans across Lancashire can't wait.

England have reached the last four of the European Championship for the first time in 25 years.

And standing in their way of a first ever final appearance is Denmark.

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Nick Elsby at Market Street Social

Across Preston, football fans can't wait to watch tonight's crucial match with their friends and families.

The Fan Zone on the Flag Market which has been running successfully since the start of the tournament is sold out - and pubs across the city are showing the match to socially-distanced fans .

More than 500 tickets to watch tonight's quarter-final game at Preston’s Flag Market sold out in just two minutes at the weekend.

Following the success of Saturday's game, which saw England beat Ukraine 4-0, Lancashire footie fans are eagerly awaiting another epic televised event.

Joe Parr at Wings & Beer Co sports bar

England manager Gareth Southgate will need no reminders about the threat on the horizon tonight - as it is just nine months since the Danes claimed a 1-0 win at Wembley in the Nations League.

But if England can win again, it will bring more much-neeeded cheer to fans businesses who have had a torrid time during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Whittle is manager of the Preston City Centre Business Improvement District, which organises the Fan Zone.

He said: "Wednesday is a big day for the country, and for the city.

"Given what people have endured during the last 18 months, the tournament has given many people something to look forward to and enjoy.

"The city centre is set to be a busy place on Wednesday evening, and on Sunday if (when) England play in the final! We'd strongly encourage people to make plans and book somewhere to safely enjoy the game.

"If people were lucky enough to get tickets for the Fan Zone, we continue to ask guests to enjoy the event safely and responsibly, and remind them to bring along their negative test results."

More than 500 tickets across 90 tables at the outdoor Flag Market event were sold in just two minutes at the weekendm after going on sale to the public at 10am.

And once the tickets had sold out, a waiting list quickly grew, with people now awaiting cancellations in the hope of grabbing a ticket to the event.

A number of Preston bars are now looking forward to showing the match for customers unable to get into the Fan Zone.

Table service and social distancing has still to be observed until at least July 19.

Joe Parr, general manager, of Wings & Beer Co sports bar on Cannon Street, Preston, said: "It should be a great atmosphere again, even though we aren't at full capacity.

"Saturday was really good. We show all the live sport, and Wimbledon as well."

Paul Henderson, landlord of the Bull & Royal on Church Street, said the venue was fully booked up for the match.

He said: "It should be packed, within the rules. We have accomodated as many people as we can."

Winckley Street ale house is also showing the game.

They said on social media: "Don't forget to come down early if you're looking to secure yourself a table.

"We don't take reservations so everything is on a first come first serve basis!"

Market Street Social, next to Plau on Friargate, is also opening specially to show the match.

The venue also showed Saturday's match in which England thrashed Ukraine.

A spokesman said: "Saturday was pretty much full. It should be a great night tonight."

People meeting up to watch the Euro 2020 match are being advised to take a free lateral flow test beforehand – while anybody heading to the Fan Zone on Preston’s Flag Market is reminded that proof of a negative test is a requirement of entry to the ticket-only event.

Rapid-result lateral flow tests are available to collect from pharmacies across the county and can also be carried out under supervision at specialist sites, including one in the Fishergate Shopping Centre.

Anybody who is displaying symptoms should book a PCR test and, crucially, should only leave home to take the test – not to watch the match with fellow fans.

England supporters are also being urged by public health officials in Lancashire to limit any close-quarter celebrations to those within their own household.

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Euro 2020 - England v Denmark: These are Preston pubs and bars showing the match...