WATCH: Joyous celebrations erupt across Norfolk as England dispose of Sweden in World Cup quarter final
PUBLISHED: 12:26 08 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 08 July 2018
Pubs and beer gardens the length and breadth of the county erupted in celebrations as England took one step closer to a place in the World Cup final today.
Reporters captured the ecstatic scenes from Norwich, Thetford, Cromer and Great Yarmouth as Gareth Southgate’s side stormed to a 2-0 victory over Sweden.
There were wild scenes at places from Cromer Pier to Thetford Green to the Railway Tavern in Dereham, which has hit headlines in the last few weeks for its hugely popular £5,000 World Cup grandstand, which has been full to the brim in previous matches.
Fans hailed the quality of Gareth Southgate’s side, with some now truly starting to believe 2018 is the year football is coming home.
Richard Sewell, 57, watched the match in Norwich.
“I thought it was brilliant and they were fantastic,” he said. “Today I was worried - because it is England. It is a bit like watching Norwich, an England game is similar, but this was fantastic.
“Southgate got it smack on. He gives everyone the freedom to do what they want and go out there and enjoy it. England teams before had to stick to a plan which didn’t work. This team has a plan but they enjoy what they are doing.”
He added: “I hope it’s coming home.
“We will have to get past the likes of Croatia, France and Belgium, but if we get to the final we have got a good chance.
“They have the right attitude to do it.”
In Thetford, Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinda Chadah was watching the match.
She said: “It’s so exciting. It was so emotional. It’s the mix of nationalism, the hope and the pride. Forget Bend it Like Beckham it’s Kick it Like Kane now. It’s the sequel finally!”
In Cromer, scores of fans watched on in venues including the Wellington pub and the Pavilion Theatre on the town’s pier, which installed a TV screen specifically for the game.
Among those celebrating after the victory was Alistair Scott, of Costessey, who said: “It’s an awesome feeling. I knew we could beat Sweden after we made it through the previous two games. It’s going to get harder now but there’s no pressure on our boys.”
The Kings Arms in Great Yarmouth was full to bursting at kick off, with fans overflowing into the beer garden, where there was a large projector.
Unlike prior to the Colombia game, the atmosphere was buoyant from the off. Indeed, the most common prediction was a 2-0 victory for England - and so it proved to be.
Vera Waynes, 75, was watching the game with her son Ian, 49, and her granddaughter Poppy, 15.
She said she could remember England’s World Cup triumph of 1966 and said she could see similarities with today’s victorious team.
“Southgate has done the right thing, he has done a marvellous job. He’s got something about him.
“They seem to be a terrific bunch of young lads and they have made the whole country happy. I think it certainly is coming home.”