HE NEVER thought he would see the day his team would make it to another semi-final.

But five years in remission of acute myeloid leukaemia, betting shop manager Ade Simmonds now believes he’s got the chance of a lifetime to see England’s national football team end 52 years of hurt and win the World Cup.

Saints fan Ade, 56, has spent nearly £10,000 to watch every single match of England’s campaign with pal Simon Hallett in Russia.

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But it could have been completely different for Hedge End-based Ade, who in 2013 needed a bone marrow transplant to save his life.

Thankfully, Ade’s brother was a match and helped him out. Now he is in good health dreaming of seeing Harry Kane lift the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy.

He said: “I was really lucky that my brother was a match, so lucky. The odds weren’t in my favour but in June 2013 I had the operation and am now in remission.

“I’ve flown out to Russia now five times and to just experience the whole tournament has been brilliant.

“I try to watch as many England and Southampton games as I can but this has been completely different.

“We’re in with a real chance of winning it now. It would be amazing, unbelievable. It’s been a hell of a journey.”

Eagle-eyed viewers spotted Ade and Simon during England’s quarter-final match with Sweden, a game in which England prevailed 2-0.

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As England midfielder Dele Alli rose to meet Jesse Lingard’s cross to head in the team’s second, mad celebrations ensued.

And within the melee was Ade’s trademark St George’s flag decorated with the words Hedge End and the Saints logo.

“It’s gone mad since we were spotted,” Ade said.

“We’ve lost the flags a few times over the years but we’ll be there when we take on Croatia in the semi-final.”

So far, Ade and Simon have traipsed across Russia, visiting stadiums in Samara, Kaliningrad and Nizhny Novgorod to watch their side play teams such as Panama, Belgium and Columbia.

If England beat Croatia on Wednesday night, Ade will stay out for Sunday’s World Cup final, which will be against France or Belgium in Moscow.