Blackpool fans Steve and Marianna supporting different teams in Euro final
They say football can bring people together - but Sunday night in the Mitchell household will be a little divided, to say the least!
Steve Mitchell, 56, a fanatical England fan, will cheering on the Three Lions in the national side’s first major tournament final since 1966.
Wife Marianna (nee Proietti), however, is a passionate supporter of the Azzurri of Italy
When England take on the Italians in Wembley stadium at 8pm tomorrow, no quarter will be given at the family home on Medlock Avenue in Fleetwood.
On normal match days the couple are singing the same tunes, as they are both staunch Blackpool supporters.
But it will be very different when the national teams kick off in the final of the Euro 21 tournament.
Marianna, whose father Furio was born in Rome, has always supported Italy because her dad had such enthusiasm for the team - and her front garden has a red, white and green tricolour flying proudly in readiness.
The mum-of-four, 51, said: “I’ve always supported Italy and if dad was still alive he would be cheering them on too.
“The rest of my family - my mum, my brother and most of my children - are supporting England.
“And so is Mitch, my husband.
“Our main, big screen TV is in the lounge and if we aren’t able to watch it together in the one room, he will be the one having to watch upstairs on the small TV!”
Steve, an HGV driver, said: “It will be hard to watch it with Marianna - especially if Italy win!
"And it will be hard if Italy lose as well.
"The first goal should be an interesting experience."
Footy fans Steve and Marianna have enjoyed the good times and the tough times as fans of Blackpool.
They have cheered on the Seasiders together through promotions and commiserated over relegations and the awful internal wrangles at Bloomfield Road in recent years.
But in five years of marriage, the ex-army pair have never experienced an international match between their two teams, England and Italy.
That is, until now!
Steve added: “At the end of the day I just hope both teams do themselves proud - and that England win!”