Ipswich: Town comes alive on Saturday night as England fans flock to the pub for first World Cup match

England fans draped in the flag of St George watch the England v Italy match at Isaacs on the Quay on Saturday night England fans draped in the flag of St George watch the England v Italy match at Isaacs on the Quay on Saturday night

Sunday, June 15, 2014
7:16 PM

Ipswich came alive last night as England fans flocked to the town’s pubs to see the national side take on Italy in their first World Cup fixture.

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Brothers Dan and Matt Harding at the Cock & Pye pub in Ipswich to watch England v Italy on Saturday nightBrothers Dan and Matt Harding at the Cock & Pye pub in Ipswich to watch England v Italy on Saturday night

Although the result ultimately went the wrong way, supporters couldn’t get enough of the “great atmosphere” and “sense of community” that the occasion created.

At the Spread Eagle pub, barman Dan Fairbrass said: “On football nights you get a real buzz in the air, everybody is chanting for the same team for once. I think if England did well in the World Cup it would bring people together; it would be something to cheer about for a change.”

David Gould, dressed in his England shirt with ‘Del Boy’ emblazoned the back, said: “I hope they go all the way. All I want to see, and I’ve said this for every World Cup, is England play Germany and beat them like in ’66. I would love to see that again.”

He added: “Community is everything; if you support England then we should all be one group. I’ve been coming here for the last 30 odd years and it’s brilliant. People are friendly and you feel safe and there’s no trouble. Everybody gets on with each other. When you walk through the door everybody says hello.”

Gary Davids agreed. “It’s good to have that communication,” he said. “You’ve got to have that bond where everybody talks to everybody else.”

Laura Furton, from South Africa, said she loved the safety and security of being able to watch a match at the pub and then walk home safely, compared to her home country.

“I’m from South Africa and it’s a very different lifestyle,” she said.

At the Cock and Pye pub in Ipswich, brothers Dan and Matt Harding sported tall red and white hats. They said it was “so much better” to watch the matches at the pub with other people.

To celebrate the World Cup, they said: “We do a lot of drinking, we try to watch as many games as possible, we don’t just watch England, we try and get into the spirit of it – so I’ve put England flags on my car.

“It’s a great atmosphere. I walked through the pub and we are the only ones with silly hats on but everybody stops and smiles.”

Do you own Ipswich’s most patriotic home, pub or business? We want your pictures of your property decked out in all its England glory.

If you have strung St George’s cross flags across where you live, work or drink, then let us know. Email the image to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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