England fan Zac Bamber, from East Lancashire, is among the thousands of supporters who will be roaring on England as they play for World Cup glory in Brazil tomorrow.
The 22-year-old has gone to the South American country with his dad, Steven, with whom he has been lucky enough to get tickets for England’s first two matches.
The pair start their trip in Manaus, where England’s first Group D match, against Italy, is to be held at the Arena de Amazonia.
They also have tickets for the following game against Uruguay, next Thursday, in Sao Paolo.
Zac said: “I have been really looking forward to it. I couldn’t wait to get out there. When they said the World Cup was going to be in Brazil, I just knew I had to go. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
After the Italy match, Zac and Steven, from Blackburn, will take a trip down the Amazon River on the way to Sao Paolo.
The trip, which is a ‘holiday of a lifetime’, has already cost Zac £2,500, and he expects that could reach £4,000 by the time he comes home.
They will spend 10 days in Brazil and, although they only have tickets for the two England games, they may buy tickets there for some other matches.
Zac, of Carrington Avenue, said he had been watching England regularly, both home and abroad, for a few years now. He said: “I had a season ticket at Rovers, but I am not renewing it this year as I do refereeing on Saturdays, and I want to concentrate on that.
“I go watching England, but I only started following them after the last World Cup, so this is my first tournament.”
Zac said he was looking forward to immersing himself in the atmosphere of the tournament.
He said: “It will be really cool seeing all the people from all over the world, and meeting up with England fans from all over the country. “They have fan zones near the stadiums where England are playing, which is where we will go.”
As for the tournament, Zac said he fully expected the hosts to take home the trophy. He said: “It is hard to look past Brazil for the title. I reckon Argentina will play them in the final.”