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Cornish football fan makes 3,000 mile journey to World Cup

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Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:05am 11th July 2018. (Updated at 12:11pm 11th July 2018)

A football fan from Cornwall has travelled all the way to Russia in the hope he'll be able to watch England's World Cup semi-final game.

Sam Farley made the 3,000-mile journey as a spur-of-the-moment decision after their win over Sweden.

Now as our guys get set to take on Croatia in their first semi-final clash in almost 30 years, he is trying to hunt down a ticket.

To celebrate, Pirate FM will be playing Three Lions on-air ever hour on Wednesday until kick off!

Sam told ITV News West Country: "I watched the Colombia game with my heart in my mouth and then I watched the Sweden game a lot more comfortably.

"I was in the pub on Saturday and as soon as there was 10 minutes left and I thought we were going to win I booked my flights and I came out here.

"I just thought, you know, I'm going to go, this is a once in a lifetime thing."

Meantime, thousands of supporters in Russia and millions at home will watch nervously as the team fight for the right to play in Sunday's final - and potentially end 52 years without a major trophy.

England manager Southgate said he hoped the team's successful run at the tournament would help unify the country after "some difficult moments" in recent years.

He also admitted he can now finally bring himself to listen to Three Lions, which was first released to coincide with Euro 96 when Southgate's missed penalty saw England knocked out.

"Football's coming home...I couldn't listen to it for 20 years, frankly," Southgate said.

"It has a slightly different feel for me, but it's nice to hear people enjoying it again."

He added: "Our country has been through some difficult moments recently in terms of its unity, and sport has the power to do that (unite people).

"Football in particular has the power to do that. We can feel the energy and feel support from home and it's a very special feeling, a privilege for us."

Pubs and big screen areas across Cornwall are expected to be packed on Wednesday evening for the England match.

Nick Hayman runs the Fistral Beach Bar in Newquay.

He said: "It's been fantastic with the good weather and England gathering momentum. You can't go wrong really, especially with the weather, it's a perfect combination.

"I would say it's been a 50% boost to business with the England games. Everything is so much better.

"It's going to be a full house tonight. It's going to be 1 in 1 out, roughly an hour before the game. We have to manage the crowd sensibly but there will be people sat outside.

"We have hired more staff. We were hiring anyway but with the World Cup, yes we have needed the extra staff.

"Candy Floss, pink gin is selling well.

"My prediction tonight is it's coming home - we're going to win 2-1."

And even Justin Timberlake, who is performing at London's 02 Arena, has promised to show the match on big screens at the venue before the start of his concert.

Kick off for the England v Croatia match is at 7pm on Wednesday evening.

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