“Oh oh, England are in Russia,
Oh oh, drinking all your vodka,
Oh oh, England’s going all the way”
A World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990 and I’d forgotten how good the nation feels when England play well in a major competition.
If we beat Croatia on Wednesday – and I reckon it’s a 50/50 game – then I’m not sure the nation will cope, but it does show what a galvanising effect football can have on the country.
Talking of which, I’d watched England beat Sweden in the confines of my own house – superstition and all that jazz – but wanted a taste of the feelgood factor so arranged to meet a couple of my pals in Castle Donington and found a cracking local boozer just off the main street in the town centre. 245 – The Jolly Potters DE74 2NH is likely to win the award for best pub of the year so far for a host of reasons.
(1) The beer was fantastic
(2) It felt like a proper pub and had three rooms as well as a beer patio showing live sport
(Earth, Wind & Fire in full flow!)
(3) They sponsor their local football team
(4) The atmosphere was riotous but great fun
(5) There were families and people of all ages joining in with the craic
(6) Somebody was carrying around a blow up doll in an England kit
(7) Aforementioned bloke who was carrying round blow up doll also led a rendition of various songs on the beer patio but undoubtedly the best was England’s version of September by Earth, Wind & Fire which involves the words at the top of this post.
Just in case you’re not sure of how the tune goes…
(8) Watching a game of football between Croatia and Russia, which would usually be of little interest and working out all kinds of permutations for Wednesday
(9) it sells Draught Bass…which was very good.
(10) It sells London Pride…which was even better than the Bass and one of the pints of the year so far.
(11) It has a jukebox and a dartboard.
(definitely not a jukebox!)
(12) It has fantastic Bass breweriana/livery all over the boozer and actually sells it.
Basically, this was an absolute stonking evening in a proper pub and one I would recommend even if the World Cup wasn’t on. I suspect it was even livelier when England played earlier in the day but it was an atmosphere that many pubs would love to bottle and open every night.
I am starting to believe…it’s coming home.