A FOOTBALL fan from Rubery, who jetted out to Russia for England’s semi-final with Croatia, summed up the mood of the nation, saying he was ‘absolutely gutted but optimistic about the future’.
Steven Hopwood, who works for Direct Letterbox Marketing, is heading home after watching the crushing 2-1 defeat at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
“I am absolutely gutted and devastated but at the end of the day we have a great team in the making.
“We did so well to get to the semi-final and I am very proud of what Gareth Southgate has done for us.
“Let’s hope we can do even better things in the future.
“I love this young England team and what they are doing, the whole nation is still behind them.”
Steven, a member of the England Supporters’ Club, had been flying back-and-forth on his own between England games for the entire tournament.
The only game he missed was England’s 2-0 quarter-final victory over Sweden.
“I had tickets all the way to the final but I’ve had to fly back in between games to attend work.
“My boss was very good to me though and allowed me to book holiday at very short notice.”
Steven flew out to Moscow on Tuesday morning and arrived just under 24 hours later after stopping in Copenhagen and Tallinn for connecting flights.
“Regardless of what people thought, I saw no trouble here and the local people treated me extremely well.”
Steven added the Russian people were very hospitable to the English fans and has enjoyed the local beer and food.
“For the Panama game it seemed like there was hardly any English people here but I could tell the attendance for the game against Croatia was much higher.”