[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK
England's pub fans left deflated
England fans celebrate a goal at the Duke of Wellington
Elation quickly turned to depression for England's passionate fans
Thirty seconds after the final Portuguese penalty had confirmed England's exit from Euro 2004 a stream of disappointed fans had spilled into the street.

Many had struggled to see the key moments of a tense game in a family-run pub in Portobello Road, west London.

With two small televisions at either corner of an L-shaped bar, the Duke of Wellington is not ideal for large sporting events.

The owners had applied St George's bunting to the walls and England flags to that bar to compensate.

And there was even a pub mascot for the evening - an inflatable donkey dressed in an England shirt and hat.

But the atmosphere at kick-off, like the decorations, was low-key.

Early in the game John McKay, a 41-year-old Australian, said he was surprised at the lack of enthusiasm in the bar.

England fan John Ostroumoff
John Ostroumoff believed England would win the competition
"For the first goal I expected people to be jumping on tables but nothing happened. Maybe that's just England fans," he said.

But throughout the game fans pored in from neighbouring pubs that were too full to cope.

Mr McKay left at half-time, when the pub was full to the brim with fans dressed in England shirts, many with painted faces.

One upbeat fan, John Ostroumoff, 30, summed up the mood of the new influx when he said the Michael Owen goal was a "great achievement" for the team.

Perhaps carried away with the mood, he claimed that Eriksson's England were the "best team since 1966".

We've got what it takes this time. Even if it goes to penalties, I still think we'll do it
England fan Kelly Jones
after 90 minutes
"I reckon we'll win this game 3-1, and then go on and win the competition," he added.

The noise levels soared in the second half as the clientele willed England to score a second goal.

By the 70th minute, with England under pressure from the Portuguese, the first chants of "Eng-er-land" boomed around the pub.

But with Portugal's equaliser in the 83rd minute silence descended again.

Deflated

After 90 minutes Kelly Jones, 27, a chemist from east London, said she still felt England could win it.

"We've got what it takes this time. Even if it goes to penalties, I still think we'll do it," she said.

At 2-2 she was still adamant.

But 14 penalties later she was "too upset to speak".

By this point tables had become laden with spilt beer and smashed glasses and the pub was half-empty.

But the only casualty of the night was the inflatable donkey - it was left punctured on the floor, its England shirt lying in a crumpled heap next to it.





PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific