A couple of England superfans have covered their home in St George’s flags – but didn’t catch last night’s World Cup victory over Tunisia.
Ken and Veronica Lapham love nothing more than flying the flag for the the Three Lions squad.
Every time England qualify for an international tournament they drape nearly every square inch of their semi-detached home in Haverhill, Suffolk, in bunting.
They reckon their home, where they have lived for 12 years, is the most bedecked for miles – but they’re still buying more flags.
Veronica told the Cambridge News : "There are not so many putting them up. We haven’t see anyone go as crackers as this yet.
"We do it every World Cup and Euros and take a lot of pride in it.
"We will be adding more the further on we go in the competition. Just now we are running out of flags.
"My daughter has ordered another six online and we are going shopping for more."
But they missed Gareth Southgate’s teams first match last night that saw Harry Kane’s team beat Tunisa 2-1 because they were taking part in the charity event Relay for Life.
Instead they recorded the game to watch at home later and tried to avoid hearing the result.
As the tournament progresses, the couple say they will also host barbecues on the front lawn and begin the ritual of decorating the house in all things red and white inside.
For Ken, 51, the hope of an England victory is something he has carried throughout his life.
Born in 1966, he has a tattoo to commemorate his birth year which he is proud is also the year of the historic England World Cup win.
He said: "Every year I say we are going to win.
"It would be nice if we won again. Not just for me. I hope they win for the country to give us a boost.
"I thought it would be my 40th, hopefully it will be this year… if not my 60th?"
As for the best places to buy England supporter merchandise, the couple say they go to Poundland, Sports Direct and Tesco but admit it has been harder to find this year.
Veronica thinks it’s because the flag has been overly politicised in recent times.
It was the first year she and Ken thought twice about showing their patriotism for the England team in case it was misunderstood as something more sinister.
"I think people are wary of doing it because of politics and worry about foreigners," she said.
"But there is no political message for us in the England flag.
"I was worried – we were expecting complaints, but everyone has liked it.
"People absolutely love the World Cup. Passers-by have been taking pictures and it was really sweet, we had a woman take a picture for her dad in hospital."
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