Thousands of Three Lions fans FLY OUT to Russia – 'I've dreamt of this'

UP TO 5,000 England fans have been scrambling to get to Russia after the Three Lions’ record victory against Panama sent the nation football crazy.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2018 by

Thousands of Three Lions fans FLY OUT to Russia – 'I've dreamt of this'
ELATION: England supporters and festival goers watch England v Panama

Three Lions supporters had largely shunned the World Cup amid fears of terrorism, hooliganism and political unrest following the Salisbury poisoning.

Just 2,500 were in Nizhny Novgorod to see Sunday's record-breaking 6-1 win.

But fan forums have since exploded with messages from supporters desperate to get hold of tickets for the knockout stages.

Thursday's match against Belgium in Kaliningrad – which will decide which of the two teams tops Group G – is a sell-out.

But 5,000 more fans are planning to fly out for the knockout stage which ever nation the Three Lions play.

Travel advice organisation ABTA said "World Cup fever" had gripped supporters who had initially stayed home but were now booking last-minute trips.

Gullivers Travel, which runs England Supporters Travel Club trips, said it had sold out all packages for the Belgium game.

England's army of fans in Russia could swell to 10,000 by the knockout stages, travel agents said.

A Gullivers Travel agent said: ``We’re extremely busy taking reservations. ``We've completely sold out packages for the Belgium game.’’ reported UK to Russia flight searches soaring.

Spokesman John Ritchie said: ``We've seen flights searches from the UK to Russia growing.

``Not everyone has a ticket but fans are flying out to soak up the atmosphere.’’

Thousands of Three Lions fans FLY OUT to Russia – 'I've dreamt of this'
LEADER: Harry Kane celebrates scoring against Panama

Google searches spiked for `World Cup tickets’, `England World Cup tickets’ and `How to buy World Cup tickets’.

Football Supporters Federation chief Kevin Miles said: ``Feedback from fans in Russia has been overwhelmingly positive and word is spreading back home.

``Fans I’ve spoken to haven’t got a bad word to say about the welcome they’ve had in Russia so far - apart from the midges in Volgograd.

``The fear factor has subsided, the team is playing way above expectations and I’d encourage fans to look into coming out here.’’ is expected to put last-minute tickets on sale costing from £79 for the match and knockout games. Flights to Russia cost from £300.

An ABTA spokesman said: "It's been World Cup fever since England's win in the first game.

"More people are likely to head out to Russia after concerns about trouble dissipated.’’

Author Mark Perryman, who has travelled to World Cups since the 1990s, said: "A considerably bigger number of England fans will be going out to Russia after the Panama game.

"Fans were put off by suggestions of hooligans, authoritarian police, racism and homophobia – but it's not been anything like that.

"While Germany and Brazil are struggling, England's chances of reaching the quarter-finals are suddenly much more rosy – and fans can see that.’’

Management consultant Michael Brough, 54, who flew his children Saskia, 14, and Oscar, 12, to Russia to watch the Panama match – their first ever England game – said they were now considering returning for the rest of the tournament.

"I feel like we have been a lucky omen,’’ said the management consultant from Bishop’s Stortford, Herts.

"It was the first England game all of us have seen and it was fantastic.

"I have worked in Moscow and knew it would not be dangerous to come.

"Now we have seen such a great victory we want to come back for more.

"I think many other England fans will be feeling the same way right now.’’

Oscar said: "I thought they’d win 3-1 but to get six? I never expected that.

"I want to go to every game now.’’

Building contractor Paul Farmer, 38, from Solihull, West Midlands, said: "With a player like Harry Kane there’s no limit to what we can achieve here.

"I just hope more fans come out to join the party and support the team in the later rounds now as there’s nothing to fear here and England are on fire. It’s amazing."

One England fan wrote in an online football forum: "Waiting to hear ticket news from Fifa - can't miss this.''

Another said: "Heading out for the KOs - who knows where this will end? History!''

"Can't miss this,'' said a third. "Know it's risky but I've dreamed of England playing like this since I was a kid."

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