celebrities, sports stars and politicians have issued a rallying cry for England to beat France in tomorrow’s World Cup quarter-final as London prepares for a £71million party sterling this weekend.
Gareth Southgate’s men are hoping to entertain the nation on ‘Super Saturday’ after singer Robbie Williams performed a private concert for the players at their Al Wakra base in Qatar.
Skipper Harry Kane, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham and Marcus Rashford were among those put through their paces during training in 26C temperatures on Friday.
Former Lionesses heroine Jill Scott, 35, fresh off her I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! win, said it was France who should be scared. In a video message to the team before flying to the Gulf, she told them, “I’m so excited. I come as a huge England fan. We are definitely gaining momentum. Player for player, I believe we are better than them, 100 per cent.”
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Saturday is going to be a titanic clash, and I can’t wait to see Gareth, Harry and all the England boys as they rise to the challenge again. It’s going to be a fantastic game with the whole country right behind the team – another Three Lions win tomorrow!”
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “It will always be a tough game against France. Mbappé is in excellent form and they have performed well in the tournament so far. But I support England to defend themselves. There’s something special about this team…we saw flashes of genius in the group stages. I’ve crossed everything off for Saturday night. Come to England!”
Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, 51, told Standard: “What a fantastic young team we have. They turned out quite bewitching and brilliant. I think they have a very good chance on Saturday and I’ll be watching and cheering. “
One and Only singer Chesney Hawkes, 51, adopted as a lucky charm when England beat Wales 3-0, said: “I saw firsthand the incredible spirit, the unity, love and solidarity in the camp…they will finish the job.”
Chelsea star Karen Carney, 35, the ex-lion and now ITV World Cup pundit, said: “Good luck Gareth and the team, you can do it.
“Everyone talks about the strength of France, but don’t forget the strengths and qualities that we have, that France will be afraid of. Hopefully on Saturday we put our best foot forward, play with confidence and play our way.
Bobby Moore’s widow also backed the Three Lions to beat France and win the World Cup.
Stephanie Moore OBE said her late husband, captain of England’s 1966 World Cup winners, would be “proud” of the Southgate side, adding: “They’re a young and dynamic team. We’re all on our toes, isn’t it for Saturday?
“Football was his life, his passion, and then somewhere down the line there was me.”
French First Dates star Fred Sirieix, 50, whose teenage daughter Andrea is the UK’s diving champion, had no split loyalties, enthused: “Allez Les Bleus!”
At the B12 Beach Club in Doha, Nicole Haddon, 22, from Clapham, said: “We have to take our hats off to England – they are more than capable of bringing the World Cup home. I look forward to the battle between Walker and Mbappé, which must be scored by the man an inch from his life.
Lucy Harrison, 22, a masters student in international development at the University of Manchester, added: “The Three Lions will win in style. We better go ahead and attack. England don’t just rely on Kane, goals come from everywhere.
Teacher Laila Freckleton, 21, from Islington clapped: “There’s something really special about this team.”
While DJ Feeona Selman, 25, from Covent Garden, added: “England have been superb. I am impressed and quietly confident.
Cardiac physiologist Paul Evans, 30, from Liverpool, joked: “Mbappe has pace but Walker can handle it.
“But if that’s all the French have, we just have to shut it up. The rest of the squad are operating as if they are nearing the end of their career.
“I would like to think that France are looking at us wondering who we are going to play against, rather than being afraid of them.”
Across Britain, 22 million people are expected to watch the match on ITV1, with a further 3.1 million in pubs and bars. And London football fans will shell out £42million for food, drink and sportswear for house parties, according to data from VoucherCodes.co.uk.
A further £29million could be spent on venues in the capital from tonight when Brazil take on Croatia and Argentina take on the Netherlands.
The London owners hope to sell a further 1.1 million pints. Publican Carl McCluskey, 35, said turnover at Chancellors in Hammersmith had increased by 400 per cent, adding: “The World Cup has gone crazy. You cannot move inside the pub.