World Cup fever grips football fans

England fan Phil Voller has covered his car in dozens of flags and a picture of Bobby Moore. Picture: Zachary Culpin/Solent News
England fan Phil Voller has covered his car in dozens of flags and a picture of Bobby Moore. Picture: Zachary Culpin/Solent News
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WORLD Cup fever has gripped football fans around the area, with the tournament set to kick off in just a few hours.

One supporter was so excited he covered his car in dozens of flags and a picture of Bobby Moore.

Phil Voller, from Whiteley, spent four hours printing and applying the stickers to his blue Toyota Hilux ahead of the tournament’s first match tonight.

The vehicle features 60 flags, all 32 teams playing in Brazil, and a ‘Come on England’ speech bubble.

Phil, 53, who supports West Ham, said: ‘I’m doing my bit to show my support for England. I’m a huge football fan and wanted to get into the World Cup spirit before it kicks off later this week. It’s just a bit of fun.’

West Ham legend Bobby Moore captained England to World Cup glory in 1966.

Mr Voller, who owns graphics and printing firm Artistic Licence, said the art would usually cost £450.

Warning as World Cup kicks off during strike

On a more serious note, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning urging people to be careful, as the start of the 2014 World Cup coincides with a 24-hour strike by members of the Fire Brigades Union, which began at 9am today.

Fans planning a night out or to watch the opening game with a few drinks are being reminded of the importance of celebrating safely.

Assistant chief officer Andy Bowers said: ‘While we always urge people to take care with drinking and driving, there is the added factor that we are likely to be operating at only around 50 per cent of our normal capacity during the strike period.

‘Taking extra care and helping us avoid unnecessary call-outs will allow us to focus the resources we have in the places where they are needed most.’

The service’s resources will be reduced until 9am tomorrow as FBU members take industrial action over the ongoing pensions dispute with the government.

Mr Bowers added: ‘Give yourself extra time before you drive the morning after you’ve been drinking.

‘It can take up to 13 hours for you to be safe to drive after four pints of lager.’

Domestic abuse a focus for police on match day

Police have also sent out a message prior to the start of the World Cup, announcing that extra patrols are set to be launched for England matches during the tournament in a clampdown on domestic abuse.

Past experience has shown domestic violence increases on the days of England matches.

Sussex police are upping patrols and also enforcing new powers, called Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

Detective Superintendent Paul Furnell said: ‘These protection notices and orders will give police new civil powers, allowing us to put in place protection for the victim in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.

‘They can be used where the perpetrator is cautioned, bailed without conditions but also where no further action is otherwise taken.’

A notice can be served by an officer and places restrictions on the abuser. An order is applied for through the courts.