WORLD CUP BLOG: England fan Tim Murray blogging live from Brazil

Tim Murray and his flag 'Monks Brook'

Tim Murray and his flag 'Monks Brook'

First published in General Sport
Last updated

England fan Tim Murray from Chandler's Ford is at his seventh World Cup and is blogging for the Daily Echo about his day-to-day experiences.

The 55-year-old has been to more than 150 England matches and eleven tournaments worldwide.

He has taken his giant Monk Brooks flag with him around the world from Japan and South Korea 2002 to South Africa 2010.

Here, in his third update from Brazil, Tim comes to terms with England's elimination from the tournament.

UPDATE:

19/06 – Sao Paulo – Day 7 - Uruguay v England – “things have got bad, all I can manage is one beer”

Everybody is in mind that this is the game we must win or we are out.  The metro train on the way to the ground is 80% full of Uruguayans and 10% English, all good banter and not a hint of trouble.

We decide to get off one stop early to grab a beer before making our way to the ground. It took 15 minutes just to shuffle along the platform and out of the station. I guess most had the same idea.

Entering the stadium the atmosphere we experienced was incredible. Each team having lost one game, we needed a win.

The stewards wouldn’t let anyone put the flags up, which I already knew, hence mine was left back at the hotel.  One hour before kickoff and the singing starts by the England fans. We were really loud and proud. The Uruguay fans whistled in defiance but that just made us sing louder.
Suarez scores and once again my head is in my hands, and it stays that way until 75 minutes gone. "Rooney Rooney Rooney" we’re singing. Yeeesssss! We are back...or not.

Full time and the feeling of disbelief is overwhelming. My friend has already left the stadium and I am still sitting there just wondering how the high of 15 minutes ago could be taken away so swiftly.

Up the steps I go onto the concourse and there is one almighty argument going on between this massive Uruguayan man and an England fan, yes it did turn ugly – the best thing to do is avoid it.

Coming out of the stadium there is an English chap (in his 50's) in utter distress he has had his wallet taken with all his money and credit cards.

I dip my hand and give him the equivalent of £20 and a spare metro ticket.

All on my own some entering the metro back into town find 3 of the others, we go back to our bar next to hotel and all can manage is 1 beer. Absolutely feeling gutted at the football predicament. Off to bed.

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim and a fellow England fan at the 2-1 defeat to Uruguay. 

20/06 – Sao Paulo – Day 8 – “there is hope”

The lads decide we need a bit more culture so decide to take a coach journey to Santos, the home of Pele's football club.

We decide to delay going so we can watch the Italy v Costa Rica match, which is clearly more important.

We go to the smallest bar just across the road to watch the game. I was foolish to ever have any more hope of us qualifying.

Slightly depressed we go on the Santos tour, which turns out to be quite interesting but with most of it in Portuguese it was a little hard to understand.

If Costa Rica hadn’t upset us enough the pitch tour was cancelled because it is Costa Rica’s training ground – doesn’t really explain why it was cancelled but back to São on the bus. Then a TV match Honduras v Ecuador in a coffee shop. Followed by a swift one or two in the bar next to the hotel and then bed.

21/06 - Belo Horizonte – Day 9

After a nightmare with the flight and having to go to the head of complaints and say I want compensation for the waste of my day. There was over five hours delay from my original scheduled departure time. All we get is a meal voucher for a wasted day. Despite the hassle, the flight went well and arrive in a posh hotel -- £175 per room per night. 

22/06 – Belo Horizonte – Day 10

Wake up early having had no knock out juice (beer) breakfast is really good. Meet one of the FA staff in lift who informs me the team are due here tomorrow afternoon. Not sure if I am pleased or not after the two losses and elimination from the World Cup.

......................

Here, in his second update from Brazil, Tim soaks in the South American atmosphere ahead of England v Urugauy.

Date: 17/06 - Manaus -  Day 5: “Horns instead of vuvuzelas”

We go to the fan park by taxi across town. We get stuck in a traffic jam that makes Southampton's, The Avenue, with seven cruise ships in town look like child's play.

Today is the day Brazil play Mexico, a massive build up by the Brazilian fans, always telling us over a few beers that they are going to annihilate the Mexicans.

After passing through security we’re in the amphitheatre of the fan park. It has the biggest screen you have ever seen, which is right in front. The place is still quiet, possibly with only 200 or so in there prior to kick-off.

Ten minutes before kick-off though and the fan park is full to bursting, probably about 10,000 supporters. Just like we hated those vuvuzelas in South Africa, the Brazilians have these annoying horns which are a bit like colourful bicycle pumps, which have no rhythm whatsoever.

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim's view from the FIFA Fan Park in Manaus during the 0-0 draw between Brazil and Mexico.

The fan park is filled with noise. But the people in the arena don't seem to have been able to get an atmosphere going. There was no singing or chanting.  The Brazilians just seem to scream whenever the ball gets anywhere near the goal at either end.

The predicted annihilation didn’t exactly materialise. We leave the park and arrive at El Dorado square and the place is absolutely buzzing with a sea of yellow and green. We manage to find a table get a bite to eat, in my case fish soup – delicious. All the food has been fantastic in Brazil with the exception of breakfast at our Manaus hotel, which was awful. Bed early as we’re up early door to head to Sao Paulo.

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim's giant 15ft by 8ft 'Monks Brook' flag hangs at Arena da Amazônia during England's 2-1 defeat to Italy.

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim at Arena da Amazônia during England's 2-1 defeat to Italy.

Date 18/06 - Sao Paulo - Day 6: “Adios Espanola”

6:50am flight to São Paulo.  Three hours 30 minute from Manaus to São Paulo and then Hotel pan America, wonder if it’ll be any better than Manaus.

We head off into Sao Paulo to take in the World Cup atmosphere. We went to the bar frequented by the FA and membership but ended up queuing for along time, so we decided to go to the bar opposite. That turned out to be the best move as loads of England fans had de-camped because the awkward paying system that had been set up.

We watch Spain v Chile and the pre match guess is that Spain would win easily. How wrong were we? The Bar was full of The England, Dutch and Brazilians: great atmosphere.

As the score reached 2-0 to Chile, I was really chuckling and came up with the chant of "adios Espanol" to the tune of Go West. The whole bar were joining in, possibly 250 people all singing... fantastic!

Daily Echo: Spain's head coach Vicente Del Bosque, left, walks through the coach zone during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.  (AP Photo/Christophe Ena). (73040

Above: Spain go out! Spain's head coach Vicente Del Bosque dejected.

After the game we go off to find a Brazilian restaurant that we’d been recommended. We all traipse off round the back streets of São. Finally 30 minutes we find it, and it was well worth the walk because I have never had so much beautiful meat in one sitting.

We were advised by some to avoid the salad to save room for the meat. The restaurant had a bit of a strange (but good) system where you have a card one side red and the other green. Keep it green up means feed me meat and turn it over means on a rest.

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim taking on a Brazilian feast

£50 per head was the bill, would have been double in England. We walk back to hotel and the bar next door has live band on. That result in a few more beers and during their break I put on England song from my CD. The owners couldn't believe the noise we made. 

Hotel pan America in São Paulo much better than Hotel Brasil in Manaus.

 

DAY 1 to DAY 4... 

Here, in his first instalment of his exclusive blog from South America, he talks us though England's 2-1 defeat to Italy, his experiences from Manaus and much more.

Read here:

Date: 13/06 - Manaus - Day 1: “Welcome to the Amazon”

The first match day is almost here and the excitement is starting about the game.  Most people are trying to contact their mates and fellow England supporters about where and when they will meet, which is usually a bar or hotel reception.

I am currently in Hotel Brasil Manaus. It's got air-con and is just about on a one star if it was in England.

Last night while exiting the lift, a lizard crawled across the floor and was greeted with an explosion of expletives from fully grown men. A local simply said: "welcome to the Amazon" after we’d screeched at the poor reptile.

There are lots of tails about what the fans got up to last night, and most were about which bar they found and how good the beer prices are. I think the price is around 4Brl which converts to about £2. A tiny little bar became a huge street party.

Not one horror story from the local area. My first impression is good people, great food, atmosphere is building and so far it's all good. The World Cup is here!

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim Murray in Munich when England beat Germany 5-1.

Date: 14/06 - Manaus - Day 2: “Brazil fans were supporting the Italians

The day started off with a taxi ride to the unofficial fan park which was only 15 to 20 minutes walk from the stadium.

I first of all made sure my flag "Monks Brook - Chandlers Ford" was in pride of place hanging off two posts and inadvertently giving a little shade from the 30c plus.

Thousands of fans gathered and naturally everyone, including me, started the day's drinking off.
In my group are the original five who have been to all the tournaments together – John Leppard, Mark Sweeny, Dave Barratt, Rob Wilkes and me. After a few calls and texts we soon had more than 15 of us.

Brazilian fans were really good and we were mixing really well with absolutely no hint of any unrest. After a few beers or so and a ‘pukka’ steak dinner later  we left for the stadium.

We were outnumbered by the Brazilians by 10 to 1. There were no problems entering the stadium. We had good seats and the singing began: Three lions on the shirt and many repitions of England England England.

To my surprise the Brazil fans were supporting the Italians... not good. 

Every England fan stands and very rarely sits down, and this is the case 35 minutes gone and we are all over the Italians like a rash. They score against the run of play, I sit down for the first time hands in head, thinking oh no here we go again. Moments later I was up again. We equalise and England fans are now in raptures "Engerland Engerland".

In the heat some of the fans start signing:  “if you're a sweaty ******* clap your hands". Everyone is involved after a while. We were even more sweaty after that.

Balotelli scores and I’m slumped again as my emotions take hold.

I leave the ground a billy no mates as I had to retrieve my flag, which wasn't near where my seat. The other England fans had gone to the agreed meeting point, which usually is the last bar we were all in.

I meet a Brazilian couple who insist on walking me back to the last bar. En route I suggest we have a drink. I tried to pay but they insisted and would not let me. I got to bed thinking of a win against Uruguay.

Daily Echo: Italy's Mario Balotelli (9) celebrates after scoring the match-winner

Above: Mario Balotelli scores Italy's winning goal against England.

Date: 15/06 - Manaus - Day 3:  “We ate in an Italian restaurant”

It’s the day after the night before. I’ve just woken up at 11am day after match.
I bought two bags of optimism before we left England; I clearly needed to buy more.

Just wandered around Manaus as we had scheduled this day as an explore day. We came across a square where we happened upon a show of Inca dancers. That was very entertaining.

Found a lovely restaurant. The downside was it was an Italian  restaurant. Still that game is history. Walked to the port area and were persuaded to book an Amazon boat trip for tomorrow. Piranhas, Cayman, pink dolphins and meeting of the waters to look forward to.

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim Murray at Rossio square, Lisbon, during the Euros in Portugal.

Date: 16/06 - Manaus - Day 4: “No football but piranhas and pink dolphins”

What a fantastic day, up and about early so to get to docks in time for 8.30am. Amazon boat trip three Brazilians and about 12 English on the trip.
It was worth every penny. Started with a visit to an area where we could swim with pink dolphins. 

Next was a village of indigenous Indians who entertained us with dancing and chanting.

They seemed very keen to sell us their wares, consisting of anything from home made jewellery to blo-pipes shooting little wooden darts etc.

Then it was the meal. Wow! Such a choice of local fish, meat and fruit Wonderful!  

This was followed by a 25 minute upstream ride to the world famous giant lily pads. After which we went through a really narrow section the boat brushing against trees growing right out of the water, where a canoe full of people came up to the boat with snakes, Cayman and even a sloth.

The trip finished at 5pm. We were all exhausted and by now in need of a game of football. USA v Ghana was due on soon. There was a real mix of fans, obviously the majority were Brazilian, but Colombian, Hondurans and of course the English being loud and proud.

Football talk was the only topic and it seemed that most wanted to talk to us, sharing beers and lots of back slapping and shaking of hands. Match over and the general consensus that the USA were lucky and Ghana didn't deserve to lose.

We followed this by going for a five star hotel restaurant meal. More like a 1* food ok but I reckon street vendors do just as good on paper plates. 

Daily Echo:

Above: Tim Murray at the 2002 Japan World Cup.

On to Sao Paulo soon. 

Tim Murray 

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