FIVE patriotic friends are making a 1,800-mile trip to show their support for England in the Euro 2012 Championships tonight.
Hartlepool men Ian Hendry, 42, Eric Campbell, 38, brothers Richard Boddy, 38, and Rhys Boddy, 21, and Danny Sanderson, 26, are travelling from Hartlepool to Ukraine for England’s game against Sweden, which kicks off at 7.45pm.
The pals arranged the trip months ago and set off from Hartlepool train station at midday yesterday in preparation for a 3am flight from Gatwick to Ukraine earlier today.
And they were all geared up and excited, taking with them their England strips, England flag and even a Hartlepool United Football Club flag which they will be waving furiously from their seats behind the goal.
Dad-of-three Ian, a self-employed plumber, contacted the Hartlepool Mail to share the news of their travels before they set off yesterday, and said: “I go to a lot of the tournaments and Eric’s been to quite a few and we arranged this with the other lads about Christmas time.
“We chose this game because it’s right in the middle of the group and this could be the decider so it was always going to be an exciting game.”
He added: “We’ve got a big Hartlepool flag and an England flag and we’re sitting behind the goal if anyone’s looking!
“I predict the score will be 3-1, obviously to us.
“We’re all dead excited and can’t wait to be there amongst it all.”
Ian, Eric, a Stadium worker, dad-of-two Richard, who works off-shore, soldier Reece, and Danny, a dad-of-one, will return home from their trip on Saturday morning – hopefully with smiles on their faces.
● Do you know anyone who is travelling to Ukraine for England’s match against the host nation next Tuesday?
Or are you from Ukraine? Contact the newsdesk on (01429) 239380 or 239381 or email the newsdesk.