England v Denmark: Fans in Blackpool ready for 'toughest test yet'
A party-ready crowd dressed in England strips and regalia and adorned with flags are pitched up in sunshine at Newton Arms in Normoss in nervous anticipation of another milestone football kickoff England versus Denmark in the UEFA Euros 2020 semi-final at Wembley.
It is England's first European Championship semi-final in 25 years.
Just one game away from the final, around 350 fans decided to make an occasion of the event to cheer on the Three Lions squad under perfect blue skies in the dedicated fan screening zone at the Staining Road family eatery.
And manager Aaron Johnson and his team were ready and raring for the task in making it an experience for all. The pub event, sponsored by Carling, and complete with DJ promises to make the match viewing a special night for young and old.
Aaron said: "Everything today has been about building and creating an atmosphere - it's inviting. We've got lots of prizes and giveaways to help raise money for charity, we've got smoke machines, fans, confetti cannons.
As fans speculated ahead of Gareth Southgate's pre-match team announcement the DJ warmed up the crowds in the beer garden with classic party tunes.
Husband and wife Billy and Hollie Law, were joined by Hollie's son Callum Humphrie and family including grandma Angelene Humphries and Siobhan and Clark Humphries.
Hollie said: "It's coming home. We were going to have a bit of a party at home but thought we'll make a night of it here, with the atmosphere and it's really building up now. It's been amazing to watch so far."
Angelene added: "I was telling Callum before I remember that win in 1966 - 'They think it's all over....' it would be great to be able to have a celebration like that again. We all need it after this last year."
Billy said: "I'm predicting a 3-0 win, I reckon we can keep that clean sheet. This squad has been so good, I'd like to see Grealish get back on but Saka and Kalvin Phillips - they've all had their moments."
Daring to dream about a place in the final he added: "I'll definitely be booking the Monday off!"
Bookkeeper Scott Gardener from Layton was joined by son Callum,11, a pupil at Unity Academy and his friends Steven Gilmour and Kirsty Perry. They've enjoyed the last few matches at the Newton Arms.
He said: "It has been great. We had to book this table weeks ago! Everything about the tournament has matched expectations so far - it was a semi-final place at the minimum for me but this is a strong squad and they've shown real team spirit."
Steven added: "They really have - it's been great to watch and see players like Kalvin Phillips come through on the field. I'm hoping for another clean sheet 2-0."
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