Petition For Holiday If England Win The World Cup Passes 165,000

Fans in London celebrate England’s win. Spending in pubs in June had risen by 9.5 per cent compared with last year

Fans in London celebrate England’s win. Spending in pubs in June had risen by 9.5 per cent compared with last yearTOLGA AKMEN AFP GETTY IMAGES

Three Lions has become the anthem of England's World Cup campaign but Gareth Southgate has revealed that such was the pain of his penalty shoot-out miss at Euro 96, when the song was first released, that he could not bear to listen to it again.

Taking advantage of extra match tickets released by organisers Federation Internationale de Football Association and additional seats provided on Moscow-bound flights from Britain, they converged on London's Heathrow airport with hope in their hearts.

"It's been insane here in England, really exciting". It's fantastic because I was one of those kids growing up who wanted to play for England.

Another fan, Bradley Goldenberg, 46, was taking his son to share the moment.

Winning the World Cup for the first time in 52 years has now transformed from fantasy into a distinct possibility, and Southgate thinks the rise of social media would only amplify the reaction if his England were to upset the odds and make it all the way.

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic says nobody should be surprised at his side reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup for only the second time in their history.

England supporters have been notably sparse in Russian Federation so far, deterred by warnings of possible violence and logistical difficulties.

The petition was created by Liam Betson on June 29 - the day after England lost their final group game to Belgium - but has really picked up steam since the quarter final triumph over Sweden on Saturday.

It seems like the choice would be between declaring a national holiday and letting people skip work guilt-free or not declaring one and having the largest sick day in decades.

Fellow fan Alex Klein, 28, added: "If we win, if we beat Croatia I'll, I'll probably cry, because to see England in a World Cup final is, is like a dream, a lifelong dream".

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