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Fans cheer England to victory in Thetford

PUBLISHED: 18:55 07 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:55 07 July 2018

Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha at On the Green Thetford watching the England Game. She is pictured with fellow England fans. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha at On the Green Thetford watching the England Game. She is pictured with fellow England fans. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Archant

Delighted fans in Thetford are sure to be celebrating for the rest of the weekend as England beat Sweden to make it through to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

England v Sweden at Grand Central in Thetford. Pictured are young fans Maysy and Daysy parish aged two-and-a-half. Picture: Rebecca MurphyEngland v Sweden at Grand Central in Thetford. Pictured are young fans Maysy and Daysy parish aged two-and-a-half. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Hundreds of fans flocked to Grand Central, on the Riverside Complex, where a giant television screen enabled fans to enjoy the game inside and outside.

Held in conjunction with On The Green Thetford, there was a real family atmosphere as young children, teenagers and adults all came together to cheer England to victory.

Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha enjoying the England v Sweden match at Grand Central in Thetford. Pictured with her is Sikh historian and biographer Peter Bance. Picture: Peter BanceBend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha enjoying the England v Sweden match at Grand Central in Thetford. Pictured with her is Sikh historian and biographer Peter Bance. Picture: Peter Bance

The national anthem was proudly sung by everybody and the good natured singing and chanting continued throughout the game.

And when Harry Maguire headed the ball past the Sweden goalkeeper, the noise was deafening.

England fans Jamie Stone and Alex Rowe in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca MurphyEngland fans Jamie Stone and Alex Rowe in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Chants of It’s Coming Home reverberate around the inside and outside of the restaurant.

England v Sweden at Grand Central in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca MurphyEngland v Sweden at Grand Central in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

And the same happened when Dele Ali scored and people believed England would go on to win the match.

Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, was in town for the Festival of Thetford and Punjab.

She watched the game at Grand Central and said: “It’s so exciting. It was so emotional. It’s the mix of nationalism, the hope and the pride. “Forget Bend it Like Beckham it’s Kick it Like Kane now. It’s the sequel finally!”

England v Sweden at Grand Central in Thetford and On The Green Thetford. Picture: Rebecca MurphyEngland v Sweden at Grand Central in Thetford and On The Green Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Jamie Stone, from Thetford, said: “I’m very happy. I would like to see a Russia v England semi-final. It is coming home that is not in question.”

His friend Alex Rowe added: “It has been the best World Cup so far. The team look like they can do something and we believe we are going to win.

“We have already outdone ourselves but I think we will carry on to the final.”

Paul Trudgeon, manager of Grand Central, said aside from a few smashed glasses there had been no trouble during the game.

“There has been a good crowd and no trouble,” he said. “It is good for the families to come out and it is all about people coming down and using the Riverside.

“A lot of people who come and watch the football come back to eat and they might not have been here before. It helps local businesses. It is good that people are coming out and socialising more in Thetford rather than going to Norwich, Bury St Edmunds or Cambridge.”

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