England 1 Paraguay 0
Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
124Trip End Ongoing
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"I met a girl who sang the blues, and I asked her for some happy news" - American Pie... German television sank to new lows last night as they televised our rendition of the Don McLean anthem.
The photos will tell the story a lot better than I can, but since this Internet Cafe is air-conditioned, you get both.
An amazing day. I was wrong about the Paraguay fans being on the other bank of the river - there were only two of them. The England fans dominated both banks of the river, filling just about every bit of space from the stands they erected to the streets above and the bridges at either side
Every shop in Frankfurt became an off-license. Little souvenir stalls that had until now only sold snow globes and tea towels suddenly started stocking beers by the hundreds. We had hooked up with our chums from back home for the day - Wilko, Baz, Gray and Matt, and were buying beers by the crate. Well actually I should mention that they were buying beers by the crate, refusing to let me and Vinny chip in so much as a Euro - bless them.
We were behind the away stand under the shade of a few trees which, considering the bright skin tones adopted by everyone else, was a bloody good idea. The first people we absorbed into our collective were two German lads, who had decided to come along and support England for the day.
There was a little bother at one point when a drunken Geordie decided that a German in Germany having a beer with English people and wishing them well was against the law, but while we (and twenty other England fans) circled the wagons Vinny (peacekeeping legend) explained to him that things were just fine thank you very much.
The match itself was, of course, pretty poor
We had got through 3 crates of beer by this point, and things were getting interesting. The football had finished by this point, but we were still stood in the same place when the Sweden game started a couple of hours later.
Then we decided it was time to rejoin the main celebrations, so we headed back to the main square where the England fans were forgetting the fact that the victory was pretty poor, and loving the fact that Sweden only drew against Trinidad. Again, check the photos out for the actual scenes, and some of them have got little stories under them so look at that too. I don't think you can if you view as a slideshow though - click on view photo album then bask in my narrative wit.
I think the main points that are worth making are these - the majority of the England fans behaved well. By well I mean they were loud, drunk and rowdy but they didn't break things or hit people.
It's the German people who need the biggest congratulations though. Things may change if we face them in the fourth round, but we found them without exception to be polite, friendly, and completely happy that we were taking over their city. They joined in the fun with us, congratulated us, ignored the German Bombers chant (considering half of Frankfurt was destroyed in the war this shows impressive restraint).
The police as well were cracking. There were probably a thousand or more coppers about, but they just stood back and watched our unique approach to celebration.
In conclusion, a great day. Moment of beauty was thirty people, including many Germans, singing the Notts County anthem "I had a wheelbarrow, the wheel fell off, I had a wheelbarrow, the wheel fell off". And those are the only words.
Finally a massive thank you to Baz, Wilko, Gray and Matt for buying us beers all day then letting us sleep in their hotel room last night - in their beds too! These men are legends. Oh, but one more thing... Matt, I was joking about that Australian girl fancying you - she fancied me.