Over the last few years it has become popular to enjoy football matches in the pub, rather than at the stadiums themselves. This is even more true of the often far-flung international summer tournaments and increasingly people want to watch each match alongside supporters who have a vested interest in its outcome. Two years ago we were one of several sites offering tips on where to go around London to watch Iran, Argentina, Ghana and Japan in suitably patriotic company as well as mentioning some of the more well-known venues associated with the major European nations.
For Euro 2008, acediscovery's blog is going beyond that and finding some new places to go when, for example, De Hems in Covent Garden is full long before kick off for a Dutch game. His photos (as above) and anecdotes give an excellent flavour of each new experience:
Gloria was a hoot, with a racuous giggle. At first, she declared she didn't care about the match. 'Let the king be the king', she said (I don't know either). Then, it turned out that she was a decathlete champion and crazy about sport. Both [she and her friend Leonardo] came from Transylvania, and told me stories about Dracula and his castle (it's fake). And how in the 1980s, 1 million Germans lived in that part of Romania. The Romanian fans were happily supporting Romania, but with the first goal against them, became fatalistic and gave up. One man stormed out immediately after both goals, fag in hand, slamming the door both times. Leonard started talking about not finding something in a google search - it was like he was announcing a funeral.
For those of you who may have been dragged to a sports pub somewhat against your better judgement there's even a Fit Player Watch, though apparently the Portuguese squad don't photograph well. So far acediscovery has also consorted with Italians, Germans and Greeks amongst others, but has often been the witness of defeated misery, so, upon reading his intention to be with them this evening, Turkish-supporting establishments may already be on the ball with "House Full" signs and helpful leaflets about where to find London's Croatian fans.
Picture of Greek fans in a Bayswater cafe is copyright to and appears courtesy of acediscovery .