Punters pack pubs but see England bow out in the traditional way

DESPAIR Colin Hill, Shaun Evans and Dawn Paffett, and inset, Colin during the game. Pictures: Mick Young (121431)
DESPAIR Colin Hill, Shaun Evans and Dawn Paffett, and inset, Colin during the game. Pictures: Mick Young (121431)
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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ENGLAND fans are used to suffering heartache when it comes to penalty shootouts.

But for the supporters who packed out The Shepherd’s Crook in Southsea, that didn’t make it any easier to deal with after they watched England get knocked out by the Italians in their Euro 2012 quarter-final match in Kiev last night.

NOISE Colin Hill. Picture: Mick Young (121431)

NOISE Colin Hill. Picture: Mick Young (121431)

The pub was prepared for the tournament with the flags of St George draped from the ceiling, on the walls and on some of the tables.

And it might have been a Sunday evening but these supporters still came out to their local pub in support of their country.

Fans came dressed for the occasion, proudly wearing their shirts bearing the crest of the three lions.

Some had the St George’s flag painted on their faces.

When the game kicked off, they continued to support the team, chanting and singing, sounding their horns and waving their glowsticks.

But it wasn’t to be and after a goalless draw, England lost on penalties – again.

Colin Hill 48, of Frensham Road in Southsea, said: ‘I’m a bit upset. We just can’t get those penalties in.

‘As much as they try, they aren’t going to do it.

‘But I loved the atmosphere in here. That’s why I came up here. It’s our local pub.’

Dawn Paffett, 39, of Eastney Road in Eastney, said: ‘I’m absolutely gutted. My hopes and dreams have been trashed.’

Stephen Ayling, 48, of Dunbar Road, said: ‘The best team won. But I’m disappointed. It was a good atmosphere in here though. They are a good bunch of lads and I joined in a bit. It’s good.’

Julie Crook, manager of the pub, was proudly wearing an England shirt.

She said her punters always embrace the spirit and are very patriotic.

‘They are brilliant,’ she said. ‘They are big sports fans and they absolutely love their football.

‘They don’t just support the team, they get into the whole sport.’

Julie added that it’s good to see the pub thriving as fans get together in their local to watch the game.

‘It’s important for my business but it’s also important for the community side,’ she said. ‘It brings so many people together. We always look forward to the games, we decorate the pub. And it’s the general banter that goes with it which is great.’