John Halewood-Dodd column

England fans in the stands during the FIFA World Cup, Group D match at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
England fans in the stands during the FIFA World Cup, Group D match at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

This is my second instalment from Brazil where England’s involvement in the World Cup lasted about as long as British summertime.

That said, there are still thousands of England fans out here determined to enjoy the party.

As I mentioned last week we travelled to São Paulo for England’s game against Uruguay which, the result apart, was an awesome experience.

Everyone expects the weather in Brazil to be scorching all the time but it is winter here and we were in for a rude awakening when we arrived in São Paulo in shorts and t-shirts as the temperature was just 12 degrees.

São Paulo is a city of over 12 million people and we had been warned that areas of it were extremely dangerous.

Initially we were wary but the welcome we received from the locals was once again incredible.

We were one ticket short for the game and had asked the owner of a bar we frequented whether there was any prospect of him getting his hands on one.

The day of the game arrived and he not only provided the illusive ticket but wouldn’t accept payment for it as he insisted it was a gift for “his new amigos.”

The following day we flew to Rio where footballing heaven awaited us.

Watching the games at the fan-fest on Copacabana beach with ice cold beer in the blazing sunshine is an experience that none of us will forget.

Everyone wears their country’s colours, even though their team may not be playing that day, and the atmosphere is superb.

It seems as though everyone is here to party and believe me we have not let the side down.

If only the England team could have shown the same enthusiasm we would certainly have been through to the next round and would have probably gone on to win it.