If you can’t afford a ticket to Poland and the Ukraine, who are co-hosting (and, if reports of overly inflated hotel prices are to be believed, who can?), there’s no better place than London to watch the games and no shortage of pubs in which to cheer on your adopted nation.
The local English boozer is a national institution, football is the national pastime, throw them together with a nation’s hopes resting on new England manager Roy Hodgson, and you’ve got a recipe for sporting spectacle to rival this season’s epic conclusions to the Premier and Champions leagues.
East Village in London’s hip East End is showing all the big games on their array of screens. The club’s bosses also have something special up their sleeves, with Sky TV’s Soccer AM presenter Max Rushden on hand, hosting all Inger-land’s exploits.
“We’ve always shown the major football tournaments at East Village as we’re all big football followers,” the club’s events programmer Stuart Patterson said. “And we have always tried to give plenty more than just a big screen and cold beer.
“We approached Max and the crew from Soccer AM to bring their special blend of football and laughs to East Village, and allow them to host all the England games over both floors for the best in football entertainment.”
Mix beers, football, laughs and sunshine (fingers crossed), and you’ve got one powerful combination – one that’ll be taking taking over the capital from June 8. Packed pubs and sun-drenched beer gardens will come alive with the scent of BBQ food, as footie fans sit back and watch the matches unfold in hi-tech cinema screen lavishness. However, if you prefer to watch the matches not surrounded by a huge crowd, so that you can’t even make it to the bar, there’s places for that, too.
Roxy Bar & Screen manager Glynn O’Shea reasons the south London venue is one of the best in the capital for watching big sports events. “Apart from the fact that we’ve got probably the biggest pub screen in London,” the Irish supporter says, “We’ve got a lot of seating, so it doesn’t get too crowded in here, and we always attract a multi-cultural, friendly crowd as well which guarantees a great atmosphere.”
Cargo in east London is planning a unique footy experience, too, with DJ-battles between Euro nationalities. “We’re doing the whole experience: the BBQ and day party, and the football and after party,” events manager Whitney Bonrud says.“We’ve paired up the music to go with the games so live DJs will be battling it out for their country’s title. “There’s events every night, brand new flat screens and two 12ft projectors. We’re going all out!” With a third of Brits expected to buy a 3D TV before the summer’s out, you can understand the landlord’s desire to impress. So get a beer, get behind the boys, and enjoy.
Euro 2012 runs from June 8 to July 1.
East Village’s Football Fanzone
89 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HX.
4pm-11pm June 11, 15, 18 & 19. £10
Tube | Old Street eastvillageclub.co.uk
Image: Getty Images