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Icons at the World Cup: England v Slovenia

by Dan 25. June 2010 11:40

The World Cup fate of plucky underdogs England came down to a 90 minute showdown against the mighty Slovenians. We travelled in hope more than expectation, and boy did we travel.

England weren’t underestimating their opponents in Port Elizabeth but we were wildly under-estimating the journey to get there. After 764k of pedal to the metal driving, dodging the death-wish baboons and death-defying truckers we arrived in Port Elizabeth with 4 hours to go.

We caught up on the English papers who as usual were full of soap opera nonsense, gossip and innuendo and overblown celebrities mouthing off, unfortunately this was merely the build up to the match. It seemed the whole of English football had come down to this one game.

The locals told us the Port Elizabeth stadium was known as the Sunflower and we approached on the Park and Ride bus the arena did look amazing, drenched in sunshine and surrounded by colourful fans.

In a break with convention the stadium had women only turnstiles while the best and worst of English manhood crammed to get through the rest of the gates singing a mixture of defiant songs like ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and the new tournament classic ‘We’re shit and we know we are’.

Once inside we realised we were three rows behind the Slovenian dug out and texted the office with our co-ordinates. Apparently a minute later the camera panned across the bench and Tom saw Steve in his red England shirt and a man with an enormous red and white comedy afro obscuring me. Disappointingly we were surrounded by empty seats which given the distances we’d covered to be here wasn’t that surprising.

The game kicked off and we started brightly. I’m sure you all watched all tense 90 minutes of it but here are some insights you only get from being inside the stadium. Visa’s adverts feature a fan from each country. England’s fan is a thick skinhead with a red Mohican.

It appeared Stuart Pearce was wearing his lucky shorts from Italia 90 but had put on a bit of weight since. And he was wearing shin-pads. Did he think he should be playing?

Fabio Capello is much shorter than you think and jumps up and down screaming like a martinet. Watch this (and apologies for Fabio’s language in advance).

Most of the England fans were polite, well-behaved and full of good humour. The £1,500 price tag to get there meant it seemed more like Twickenham than Wembley. The downside was the attendance was 36,000, which meant there were 12,000 empty seats.

We did win of course and when the whistle went we were top of the group and all our hopes and dreams were about to be fulfilled. Then the USA scored and we were given the rock-face route to glory rather than the cable car.

At least we’ll be up for the Germany game, but we’ll have to completely change our travel plans as they had previously been worked out on the ludicrous assumption that England would top the group. Everyone was wanting to know where Bloemfontein was and whether anyone knew any Americans they could swap tickets with.

We had sung our hearts out and supported out boys in full. Back on the Park and Ride bus the English fans were quiet and subdued but we did experience the weird sensation of being berated by Slovenians for not joining in their English victory songs. We knew we were probably playing Germany, then Argentina, then Spain, then Brazil. We need a miracle but then so did Slovakia. Who knows what will happen next?

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The fans World Cup

by Steve 23. June 2010 07:10

Fans of all nations have lit up the 2010 World Cup with their incredible passion, noise, not to mention at times bizarre costumes...  During Portugal's recent 7-0 demolition of North Korea, a small section of North Korean fans who had somehow managed to make it to South Africa, supported their hard-working and at times very skillful team throughout the entire 90 minutes.

The site of the Korean fans waving flags and cheering as their team conceded their seventh goal, showed that the country could win off the field, if not on it.  The display seems all the more pertinent following England fans booing reaction to the woeful draw against Algeria.  Today England face Slovenia in a must win game in Port Elizabeth.  Failure to do so will certainly resort in a deafening chorus of boo's, possibly the only noise loud enough to drown out the Vuvuzela's.

England are not North Korea, and of course fans shouldn't cheer the team off following another poor result, but this is now last chance saloon and the hordes of England fans who have travelled thousands of miles to be with the team owe it not just to the players, but to themselves, to give as much support as humanly possible until the final whistle goes...

Icons at World Cup 2010

by Steve 3. June 2010 09:17

And so we're almost there...  The Greatest Show On Earth is just days away.  For the next month all that exists is the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  Lifetime memories will be made, dreams will come true and icons will rise to become legends.  But who will be remembered as the stars of 2010?

The chances are it will be a player who has signed with Icons.com in the last year. Click on the incredible list of players set to star in this summer's tournament below, and also legends of past World Cups.

World Cup 2010 Stars

World Cup Legends

Whoever makes the move from the first list to the second this summer, and whatever happens over the next month, you can guarantee that you'll never forget it.

Wayne Rooney signed shirts - at last!

by Steve 6. April 2010 16:41

Although we all support different clubs at icons, there's one team that lets us all enjoy the (rare) highs and (regular) lows together... England.  As such we've been wanting to meet up with England's greatest player Wayne Rooney for quite some time.  With Dan and Edward in the States and Natalie looking after base camp, Tom and I were the lucky ones who got to meet the Manchester United superstar.

On top of discussing the footballing world with Wayne, we also found out he's a big fan of signed memorabilia himself and agreed to pick him up a Diego Maradona shirt when we next meet up with the legendary Argentinean.

Take a look at Rooney's incredible range of personally hand-signed Manchester United and England shirts, photographs and boots now and make sure you don't miss out on the piece you want.  With the World Cup just around the corner, this could be the smartest investment you ever make...

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Welcome to the icons blog, we'll be regularly posting here about what's going on with our star signings and what new products have arrived

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