Town centre venues are making final preparations as they get set to help Northampton people to enjoy the World Cup.
The first match in the month-long football fiesta kicks off later today, Thursday, while England’s opening match against Italy is at 11pm on Saturday.
With the late kick-off, bar managers and landlords are preparing for a sharp shift in drinking patterns when the Three Lions are on TV.
And most are keenly anticipating the chance to celebrate the world’s most-watched sporting event.
The Lumbertubs pub in Boothville will be marking the opening day today with a carnival evening from 6pm. It will include salsa dancers, a DJ and a screening of the opening between Brazil and Croatia.
At Aspers Casino, in Commercial Street, Northampton, all the games in the tournament will be screened on TV screens on the main floor. In its private function room, all England games will be shown in HD on a 12ft x 9ft screen. VIP packages also include £5 of slot bets, available for England v Italy as wellas England v Uruguay on Thursday, June 19, at 8pm, and England v Costa Rica on Tuesday, June 24 at 5pm. For tickets, go to aspe.rs/score
For those who gain just as much pleasure from collecting footballers’ faces as watching them play, this Saturday also sees a Panini World Cup sticker swap event at Sainsbury’s in Weedon Road, between noon and 2pm.
Also on Saturday, former England internationals, including Darren Anderton, Paul Merson and Ian Wright will turn out at Daventry Town for a match kicking off at 3pm, followed much later by a screening of the England v Italy game. There will also be an evening with World Cup winner Gordon Banks, arguably the best goalkeeper ever, from 7pm.
For tickets, call Terry O’Neill on 07463809676.