Starting with the first game between Spain and Portugal and finishing with the final between France and Croatia, the World Cup brought families and friends together across the world, enjoying the opportunity to meet up and cheer on their teams whilst having a bite to eat and a catch up.
At social clubs in Camden and Islington, football fanatics sat side by side with people who were experiencing their first World Cup match. The neighbours watched three matches together and also enjoyed delicious snacks from around the globe, a quiz before kick off as well as a very competitive half time penalty shoot out!
Going to watch a football match can often be quite confusing if you haven't been before. Similarly, people often find it difficult to start socializing again when they haven’t been out for a while. However, older and younger neighbours mentioned how friendly and happy everyone seemed and that it was easy to strike up a conversation with someone you hadn’t met while the tournament was on. At the England Panama game Sofia and Jo bonded over their shared success in the sweepstake. Thanks to Harry Kane and John Stone’s goal scoring exploits they both won a prize!
"I haven’t really watched much football before but I’ve enjoyed today, it was very exciting and it was nice to watch it with so many other people.” Jo.
The final was a nail biting affair for Nicole, her team France were in the final for the first time in twenty years. Kate and Francesca joined her in a celebratory cheer at the end, both impressed with the way the French team had played.
Sadly for England, football didn’t quite come home this time, but it did manage to unite people from various countries and cultures at a time when the world often feels very fractured. As the neighbours made their way home from the screening of the final, everyone could be heard excitedly asking about when the next tournament would be and deciding what they would be eating while they watched it. What a result!
Posted by Andy Naylor on Monday 23rd July 2018
Andy is a Programme Coordinator (Social Clubs) at North London Cares