England-Denmark Euro 2020: Portsmouth pubs begin to fill up four hours before kick-off

PUBS and punters in Portsmouth are gearing up for a frenzied evening of football action ahead of England’s semi-final against Denmark tonight.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:51 pm

Boozers across the city are already beginning to fill up as revellers get ready to cheer on Gareth Southgate’s team in their latest clash.

People have already started to arrive at Cosham’s Portsbridge pub, which is expecting a sell-out crowd watching the game.

Harley O’Brien, one of the Portsbridge’s team leaders - who was sporting an England shirt - said: ‘Normally they start turning up a few hours before the game. We’re just slowly starting to build up now. We’re already fully booked in the front and back gardens as well as inside.

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From left, team leader Harley O’Brien, manager Roy Wolstenholme and team leader Trish Ionescu at the Portsbridge pub in Cosham this afternoon ahead of the England-Denmark Euro 2020 semi-final 
Picture: Tom Cotterill
From left, team leader Harley O’Brien, manager Roy Wolstenholme and team leader Trish Ionescu at the Portsbridge pub in Cosham this afternoon ahead of the England-Denmark Euro 2020 semi-final Picture: Tom Cotterill

‘Even though we can’t cheer because of Covid, the atmosphere is going to be amazing. We’re all looking forward to the game.’

Asked who she hoped would win, Harley said: ‘I don’t want to say in case I jinx it. But it’s the team whose shirt I’m wearing.’

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It’s a similar scene at Copnor’s Golden Hind pub, in Copnor Road, which is already filling up.

Gary Talbot, Sandi Talbot and Malcolm Ayres in the Star and Garter in Copnor before tonight's England-Denmark Euro 2020 semi-final Picture: Tom Cotterill

Craig Moore, 25, is there drinking with pals Mark Lewis and Jordon Beaumont ahead of the big clash.

‘It’s going to be a 3-0 England victory, for certain,’ said a confident Craig, of Copnor.

Jordon added: ‘This is what we’ve all been waiting for for so long. It’s definitely coming home.

‘It’ll be us and Italy in the finals on Sunday.’

Malcolm Ayres was drinking at the Star and Garter pub further down the road in Copnor.

The last time the 65-year-old saw England reach the final of a major championship was the World Cup clash in 1966 when he was 10 - when England were victorious over Germany.

He said: ‘I’m hopeful we can win. I remember the ‘66 match and it was amazing. It would be a dream if they could win again.’

Sandi Talbot, of Portsmouth, was drinking with Malcolm and her husband, Gary Talbot.

Sporting and England shirt, the 56-year-old said: ‘We’re going to win.’

Gary added: ‘I think we can absolutely get to the final. We have got a strong defence and attack and I think we’re going to keep a clean sheet tonight.

‘I really think tonight is the best chance we’ll have since 1966 to get to a final. We have had the easier half of the draw, which has helped.’