One of the organisers on ‘England’s most patriotic estate’ has hit out at officials for not showing England games at the Potters Fields fan village – despite the national team being in the final stages of the European championship.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is running two fan zones – where fans can congregate, watch games and eat and drink. One in Trafalgar Square is showing England matches and fans have to enter a ballot to get in. The other in Potters Fields near Tower Bridge is more family-focused and has shown most games – but not England.
A spokesman for the GLA said this was because they would have to run a ballot like for Trafalgar Square, because there would be so much demand to get in.
But Chris Dowse, one of the ‘three musketeers’ on Bermondsey’s Kirby Estate, told the News: “That’s a joke. It’s absolutely ridiculous, Sadiq Khan just wants to pie us off. Why can’t residents from Southwark get something back too?
“There are idiots, of course there are, but at the same time, make it a family thing for English people, local people, as well as other people in London. It’s not really inclusive, we’ve all been tarnished with the same brush as the England fans who make trouble. But you get those everywhere.
“You’d have to run a ballot? Oh diddums. Imagine the revenue that that place would make. That can be done. It sounds like laziness, it’s a feeble excuse.”
Chris said the organisers could even have run a ballot for local school children and their families.
“Open it up to schools, let the schools take the kids and their parents. It would create such a nice atmosphere. You might get the occasional idiot who would sell his ticket on but mostly it would be just great memories for these kids.
“We got to the semi-final in 2018, this might be the year that we go all the way and win it. Think of the memories that we could make all gathered together.
“I remember I was a kid when Lady Di and Prince Charles were married. It’s obviously different but it’s the same kind of thing. We all sat outside with these decorated tables with cakes and sandwiches. Those kinds of memories stick with you.”
The Kirby Estate on Southwark Park Road, where Chris lives, has kept up its tradition this year of putting up hundreds of England flags for major football tournaments, gaining national media coverage in the process. Residents have mostly watched England matches in small groups because of the Covid-19 risk, but there are plans for a larger gathering if England get to the final.
England play Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night, in a game Gareth Southgate’s men are expected to win. The Three Lions beat Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals last Saturday (July 3) after dispatching old rivals Germany in a historic 2-0 win in the second round. The team has yet to concede a goal after five matches, beating Croatia and the Czech Republic 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with Scotland to top their group.