WORLD CUP: Brazil buzz for England fan Alan

SIXTH WORLD CUP: Alan Lawrence

SIXTH WORLD CUP: Alan Lawrence

First published in Football Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

BRAZIL 2014 may be the sixth World Cup that England fan Alan Lawrence has attended, but the football fanatic is as excited as ever when it comes to his South American adventure.

The father-of-two from Weymouth, 53, flew out to Sao Paulo on Tuesday in readiness for his country’s crunch Group D game against Uruguay tonight (8pm).

A Manchester City supporter, Lawrence has followed the Premier League champions across Europe and to Hong Kong and New York.

However, even though he has been to some 125 stadiums worldwide, he has never visited Brazil before.

Speaking to Echosport before heading off to Brazil, he said: “I love football and travelling.

“The atmosphere at a World Cup is incredible, it’s hard to explain.

“In fact, people go without tickets just to experience the atmosphere.

“As well as the Uruguay game, I’ve got what they call a conditional World Cup final ticket.

“I have paid for a ticket for the final and will get one but only if England get there, if not I get a refund.

“I’d have to fly back out there if they did make the final, though I’d probably go if they got into the semi-finals.

“I wouldn’t be guaranteed a ticket for that game but more tickets are released before the game.”

Plans for his trip started last December, but Lawrence, who works at Dorset Auto Spares on the Granby Industrial Estate, hasn’t always been so well prepared.

“Probably the biggest buzz in my life was watching England play Brazil in the quarter-finals in 2002,” he added.

“That was because I had been watching the previous match down at Weymouth Pavilion and someone said that I could be out in Japan for the Brazil game in a few days.

“I decided there and then that I was going to go.

“It was a bit of a gamble this time. I booked my flights just before Christmas but I wasn’t guaranteed of any tickets at that stage.

“I wasn’t going to find out until March but luckily I got one through the England Supporters’ Club for Uruguay.

“I’ve never been to Brazil and thought I had to go to see what it’s like.”

Lawrence followed England in Spain (1982), France (1998), Japan and South Korea (2002), Germany (2006) and South Africa (2010).

And not only did he get to watch Ron Greenwood’s England side 32 years ago, he also got a ticket for the final itself.

Lawrence, though, isn’t holding out too much hope of Roy Hodgson’s men getting to the final this time around.

And while he knows there may be a few problems off the pitch during the tournament – anti-World Cup protests have been an on-going issue in the build-up to the competition – but he is determined to enjoy another expedition to the greatest football show on Earth.

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