Pubs across England, Wales and Scotland get ready for start of Euro 2020


Football fans rushed to Britain’s pubs on Friday night to watch the start of Euro 2020, with Italy facing off against Turkey in the opening game in Rome. 

England, Wales and Scotland are all taking part in the much-anticipated competition – delayed by a year because of the Covid pandemic – but don’t kick off each of their first games until later this weekend.

The opening contest is always an occasion met with fanfare, however, and crowds flocked to watering holes up and down the country this evening, many of which are draped in flags and football memorabilia. 

For the home nations, Wales will be up first, facing Switzerland at 2pm tomorrow, before England face Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, in a repeat of the 2018 World Cup semi-final where English hearts were broken in extra time. 

The 2pm game is expected to boost pint sales in pubs by at least £3 million – though industry bosses have warned that current Covid restrictions will cost them millions in lost earnings. 

Scotland will begin their tournament by facing the Czech Republic on Monday, before playing the Auld enemy at Wembley next Friday. 

The highly-anticipated match is the first time England have played Scotland at a major tournament since 1996 and the contest is expected to fill pubs across the land.   

Excitement is building in pubs, with Dougie’s Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, putting up dozens of England flags, as well as the flag of every nation taking part in the tournament. 

Turkey fans take a selfie at Potters Fields Park as they wait to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

Turkey fans take a selfie at Potters Fields Park as they wait to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

A general view of Potters Fields Park Fan Zone, where crowds are gathering to watch the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Turkey

A general view of Potters Fields Park Fan Zone, where crowds are gathering to watch the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Turkey

A general view of Potters Fields Park Fan Zone, where crowds are gathering to watch the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Turkey

Italy fans show their support as they arrive at Glasgow Green to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

Italy fans show their support as they arrive at Glasgow Green to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

Italy fans show their support as they arrive at Glasgow Green to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

A general view of Glasgow Green Fan Zone, which is screening the opening game of Euro 2020 between Italy and Turkey

A general view of Glasgow Green Fan Zone, which is screening the opening game of Euro 2020 between Italy and Turkey

A general view of Glasgow Green Fan Zone, which is screening the opening game of Euro 2020 between Italy and Turkey

Fans arrive at Glasgow Green to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

Fans arrive at Glasgow Green to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

Fans arrive at Glasgow Green to watch the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A opening match between Turkey and Italy

Dougie's Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, which is draped out in flags representing countries taking part in Euro 2021

Dougie's Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, which is draped out in flags representing countries taking part in Euro 2021

Dougie’s Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, which is draped out in flags representing countries taking part in Euro 2021

The tournament, which was delayed for a year because of the Covid pandemic, will finally kick off today and boozers across the UK are already draped in flags

The tournament, which was delayed for a year because of the Covid pandemic, will finally kick off today and boozers across the UK are already draped in flags

The tournament, which was delayed for a year because of the Covid pandemic, will finally kick off today and boozers across the UK are already draped in flags

The Big Tree pub in Sheffield has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros as excitement build across the country

The Big Tree pub in Sheffield has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros as excitement build across the country

The Big Tree pub in Sheffield has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros as excitement build across the country

Work begins at Trafalgar Square in central London on the building of a new Fan Zone, ahead of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship which kicks off later today

Work begins at Trafalgar Square in central London on the building of a new Fan Zone, ahead of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship which kicks off later today

Work begins at Trafalgar Square in central London on the building of a new Fan Zone, ahead of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship which kicks off later today

Meanwhile, the Big Tree pub in Sheffield has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros.

Work has also begun on a new fan zone in Trafalgar Square in London which will host a giant screen for supporters to watch England matches on in the capital. 

With England, Wales and Scotland all qualified Greene King are giving away free pints at more than 1,000 of their pubs across England and Wales today. 

Keen punters can redeem the pint of Greene King’s own pale ale brew, Ice Breaker, on Friday – the day of the first match of the Euros. 

No vouchers or downloads are needed, simply utter the words ‘Your home of pub sport’ to the bar staff any time of Friday and you’ll be provided with a refreshing pint in readiness to watch the match at your favourite local. 

The pints are limited to one per person – and those who don’t drink can get a Coke or Coke Zero instead. 

The first game of the Euros will be played in Rome on Friday at 8pm British time between Turkey and Italy.

The spectre of the pandemic is still hanging over Euro 2020, however, as the first tournament matches will take place before Freedom Day on June 21, meaning a slew of Covid restrictions will still be in force. 

Currently, punters must be served by table service only, face coverings are required when walking inside and the Rule of Six will apply indoors.   

The British Beer & Pub Association earlier revealed that 85% of pub-going football fans believe the current restrictions will negatively impact their experience of watching Euro 2020 at the pub this summer.

Dougie's Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, which is draped out in flags representing countries taking part. Picture shows pub regular Bobby Park, 68, who has helped erect the banners, making last minute amendments

Dougie's Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, which is draped out in flags representing countries taking part. Picture shows pub regular Bobby Park, 68, who has helped erect the banners, making last minute amendments

Dougie’s Tavern, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, which is draped out in flags representing countries taking part. Picture shows pub regular Bobby Park, 68, who has helped erect the banners, making last minute amendments

Adam Chamberlain, 45, general manager of Big Tree pub, Sheffield, which has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros

Adam Chamberlain, 45, general manager of Big Tree pub, Sheffield, which has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros

Adam Chamberlain, 45, general manager of Big Tree pub, Sheffield, which has put up over 500 flags, taking 36 hours, in preparation the Euros

The first game of the Euros will be played in Rome on Friday at 8pm British time between Turkey and Italy. England's first game is on Sunday

The first game of the Euros will be played in Rome on Friday at 8pm British time between Turkey and Italy. England's first game is on Sunday

The first game of the Euros will be played in Rome on Friday at 8pm British time between Turkey and Italy. England’s first game is on Sunday

Fans will be able to watch England games on a giant screen in the centre of the capital, repeating scenes from the 2018 World Cup

Fans will be able to watch England games on a giant screen in the centre of the capital, repeating scenes from the 2018 World Cup

Fans will be able to watch England games on a giant screen in the centre of the capital, repeating scenes from the 2018 World Cup

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: ‘When it comes to watching England, Scotland or Wales at the Euros, only being at the game itself can compare with being at the pubs.

‘Unfortunately, under the current restrictions they face, watching the Euros at the pub just won’t be the same as normal. Table service only, groups of up to six indoors and no standing drinking are going to crush the atmosphere.

‘85% of pub-going football fans believe the current restrictions will ruin the Euros experience at the pub. Half say they will be more likely to watch UEFA Euro 2020 at their local if all restrictions on pubs are lifted.

‘It is a great shame as we know 91% of pub going football fans missed watching the game at the pub during lockdowns. Clearly people miss these freedoms they used to take for granted.

‘More and more people are getting the vaccine each day. It’s time for the restrictions on our freedoms to be replaced by the protection of the vaccination and for businesses and life to get back to normal. The Countdown to Freedom is on.’  



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