Hotting up already
- 1 Jul 06, 11:03 AM
The 70,000 England fans predicted here have indeed arrived. They are streaming out of the main station and lining the roads into town.
In the square by the main station they are hanging out their flags enjoying a drink in the sunshine and singing "We're not going home".
It's incredibly hot here already - it's only 10am and I'm struggling carrying a laptop around in what must be 30 degrees at least. But the atmosphere is optimistic and expectant.
Steve Wareham and a group of friends from Chelmsford, Essex, have driven through the night just to be here. Steve told me: "It was only 50 quid a head to get here and back on the ferry.
"The Germans have been such great hosts and it's so well organised we had to come." But he predicts it will be a nerve-wracking afternoon watching England. As with the hosts Germany last night, he thinks England will not win in open play. "I think we'll do it," he said. "But we'll only go through on penalties."
Let's hope he's right about the result but wrong about the pens!
PS: I've just been up to the stadium in Gelsenkirchen and can confirm the black market is operating in full view of everyone with touts currently trading a grade 2 ticket (face value 85 Euros) for 500 Euros.