I was not really watching the football last night in the Ship and Shovell, I was there to spend time with a friend on his birthday. Nevertheless this tiny pub under Charing Cross Station, with its one tiny TV, seemed a large central gathering point for a large bunch of Polish fans. Lots of pubs have a “No Football Colours” rule. I wonder how said pubs would deal with a man wandering around draped in the Polish flag?

So the game started and a few rousing choruses of “Polska! Polska!” boomed around the pub. No-one felt threatened. It was a bit noisy, but not as noisy as the fire alarm keeping going off. With the exception of the couple sucking their faces of each other, the whole place seemed to be in good spirits. England scored, there was a slight murmur. Poland scored, the place erupted.

Of course the match barely signified anything. Both teams had qualified, and whilst Poland have often been slight bugbears on the football field, England and Poland, especially London and Poland are very friendly. And it continued that way, the Poles being loud, and England eventually scoring. Carsmile even discovered a Polish Exeter fan.

This reminded me of
a) How much fun watching football with a raucous crowd in a pub can be
b) That noisy fans are nothing to be scared of
c) That I actually want to see games like this in the real World Cup, with loud crowds in their London homes.

Roll on Deustchland 2006.
(And not a mention of my Polish heritage. That for a later post I think.)