Over and out
- 2 Jul 06, 10:02 AM
GELSENKIRCHEN - St George was unavailable for comment as he left the stadium after England’s defeat last night. Or at least the man dressed up as St George, yes, I know it’s not him really.
That’s highly unusual for an England fan. Throughout this tournament they’ve had all the answers for me and ‘given good quote’. But they’ve only ever asked me three questions in return.
“Can you get me on tele?” is always number one. “No, I’m afraid I’m too lowly,” is my stock reply - I can’t even get myself on tele...
“Can you get me into the game?” is their follow-up. Again, my form here is as bleak as England on penalties. I bought a black-market ticket for Euro350 to see the game in the ground last night. It was the only way in for thousands of people outside.
There were only just over 4,000 tickets to the FA for England fans, but a stadium full of them last night - someone is making a fortune from this trade and it is something Fifa surely must address before South Africa 2010.
The fans' closer question, without fail, is always: “Haven’t the German’s been amazing hosts?” And my answer to this one is yes, absolutely.
England’s travelling support has been incredible in its scope, colour, passion and humour. In return, bar a few arrests, the Germans have welcomed them in their thousands with open arms, organisational-nouse, helpful locals and icy cold beer.
Off the pitch, the World Cup in Germany has been beyond expectation, a time to make friends indeed.