Red and white engulfs a city hoping for glory

World Cup fever at the Olde Black Bull on Friargate, Preston with Manager Mike Billington
World Cup fever at the Olde Black Bull on Friargate, Preston with Manager Mike Billington
Share this article
Have your say

Football fever has swept through the city ahead of tonight’s opening game of the 2014 World Cup.

England flags are being flown throughout Preston as Roy Hodgson’s men attempt to be the best in the world and lift the trophy for the first time since 1966.

Tonight the hosts Brazil take on Croatia in the opening game at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo.

And one local boozing hot-spot is hoping to help patriotic fans celebrate in style rather than drown their sorrows this summer.

The Olde Black Bull in 
Friargate, Preston, has been decked out in red and white and manager Mick Billington believes they have gone the extra mile to help people cheer on the Three Lions.

He said: “Not many people are confident England can win it this year but as soon as the tournament gets underway people will start believing.

“We have everything from England flags to special beers and drinks offers. I’ve even made a special mix tape to get people in the mood for the England matches with football songs like Three Lions, Vindaloo and World in Motion’.”

The pub is a regular for football fans and as well as the usual gaggle of Preston North End fans the manager is expecting some continental football fans to drop in.

He said: “We’ve had Spanish and Italian fans pop in to watch their national team here before.

“All of the games will be shown live on our television, we can’t wait – the atmosphere will be amazing.

“We are expecting to have a lot of business, the times of the England games are at peak times really – 11pm against Italy on Saturday is a great time for pubs.”

England start their campaign against the Azzurri on Saturday but two fans will be watching with glum faces.

Eagle-eyed Preston North End fans may have spotted an England flag bearing the club’s famous name flying in England’s friendly matches.

But the two PNE fans have had to cut short their trip over the Atlantic Ocean due to work commitments and are unable to watch their country in Brazil.

John Thompson’s mates Chris Tynan and Mick Whittle had to jet back and will be watching the Three Lions in the pub.

John said: “They are not going to World Cup because of work commitments, but they go to most England games home and abroad. They went out to Miami specially for the Ecuador and Honduras games and everyone has been spotting their flag on the TV.”