Fans react as England exit Russia 2018

Fans react as England exit Russia 2018

  • 11 July 2018
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The dream is over: Fans in London's Hyde Park

Pubs, parks, castles, caravans - it didn't matter where you were as long as you were watching.

Following a mass exodus of workplaces up and down the country, millions were glued to one of the biggest matches in England's history.

Our reporters were out and about soaking up the atmosphere as a nation dared to dream.

But it was not meant to be, as England's lions fell to Croatia in extra time.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A young fan is comforted in Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

We were at Hyde Park in London, where up to 30,000 fans saw their team dig deep and battle. The screening of the World Cup semi-final was the biggest in the capital since Euro 96.

There were also screenings at Nottingham Castle, Manchester's Castlefield Bowl and on Brighton Beach.

While at Croydon's Boxpark, there was an early-doors beer shortage as joy turned to anxiety turned to heartbreak.

In Newcastle, the joy of Trippier's early goal turned to stunned silence when the second-half equaliser went in. And let's not mention Croatia's second.

At Hyde Park, father and son Andrew and Luke Downing, 39 and 13, were first in and at the front of the stage.

"We've been hovering around since two o'clock and came in as soon as the doors opened," Andrew said.

He added that he had every confidence England's pride and passion would get them to the semis.

Image caption Father and son Luke and Andrew Downing were first in line at Hyde Park

About 8,000 tickets were snapped up to watch the game at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester.

The city has gone football crazy, with people leaving work early at around 15:00 BST.

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Friends Jack Moore, Rhys Greenwood and Scott Barnes said the bowl is "the only place to be".

"This is better than being in a pub," said Rhys.

Image caption "The bowl is the only place to be," say pals Jack Moore, Rhys Greenwood and Scott Barnes
Image caption Manchester goes mad for it

Drenched in evening sunshine, the nation's beaches were a popular spot to watch the match.

Fans went wild on Perranporth, Cornwall, when Trippier curled home his early opener. But their happiness disappeared with the setting sun.

On Brighton Beach, fans were glued to a big screen on the sand, which was also beaming out the tennis before World Cup fever took hold.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Fans in tears on Brighton Beach
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In Harry we trust: Seeing triple on Brighton Beach

Sean Tipping, 31, a sales rep from Lindfield, said: "They've done well no matter what."

At Nottingham Castle, 3,000 tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale.

Red and white filled the grounds as people nervously gathered around the big screen.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A few spilled pints at Nottingham Castle
Image caption She had hope. Eight-year-old Lily Harkin's handiwork on Cole Bryceland in Nottingham

And at Millennium Square, Leeds, thousands were watching with anticipation.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Bated breath at Millennium Square, Leeds

But it was obviously not just in England where the tension was building.

Meanwhile in Moscow . . .

Image copyright AFP
Image caption We think this chap may have been just a little excited