Town goes football crazy

WORLD Cup fever has gripped Royston as residents prepare to cheer the England team to victory.

The world’s biggest festival of football kicks off in South Africa tomorrow (Friday), and Crow Country’s pubs are expecting bumper crowds when Fabio Capello’s England side begin their campaign against the USA on Saturday.

At the White Bear pub in Royston they have got into the spirit by decorating the front of the building with a giant St George’s cross.

Landlady Shirley Smeeton said: “My son had the idea after he saw houses decorated in a similar way and we think it looks really good.

“We’re expecting plenty of customers in so the tournament should be good for business.”

Meanwhile The Chequers pub will be showing the England games on a giant outdoor screen.

Manager Michelle Parker said: “We had a low-key trial run for the FA Cup final, and it went well, so I’m sure it will be very popular with our regulars, as long as we get some decent weather.

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“Everyone is really excited about the World Cup with people hoping that England do well.”

Another Royston pub which has invested in a giant outdoor screen is the North Star, which will be running barbecues while England matches are played.

But football fans are being reminded to drink responsibly during the tournament and not to “risk it all for a drink”.

A poster campaign instigated by the Hertfordshire Strategic Road Safety Partnership, which involves the county council and the police and fire services, will remind supporters of the consequences of drinking and driving.

The scheme has the backing of local football clubs including Royston Town.

Chief Inspector Donna Pierce from the Road Policing Strategic Unit said:

“While we don’t want to discourage people from getting into the spirit of the competition, it’s important everyone can enjoy the World Cup safely.

“There’s no excuse for drink-driving. We’ll be present round the clock to take robust action against anyone who threatens their own and others’ safety.

“So if you do try to get away with drinking before getting behind the wheel, there’s a very good chance you’ll be caught.”