It's coming home! About time Sheffield was finally able to really join England's World Cup party
It occured to me when watching the coverage of England's superb victory over Sweden on Saturday, that something was missing.
During half time and following the win which took the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final match against Croatia on Wednesday night, the BBC showed pictures from around the country as cities came together to watch their heroes in parks and squares.
Leeds was there. Newcastle, too. Nottingham and London.
Yet, despite the fact that one of our own in Harry Maguire scored the opening goal against Sweden and that South Yorkshire provided about a quarter of the England squad in total, there were no scenes from the home of football.
That’s because there hadn't been any big screens put up anywhere in Sheffield city centre for fans to congregate and create an atmosphere.
Bars were packed from opening time with fans enjoying themselves, but what about somewhere a little more kid-friendly?
To play devil's advocate, it’s a busy time of year and we are blessed to have so many different events taking place in the city at various times, however it does feel like Sheffield City Council have been a bit slow to tap into the feel-good factor that has come from England's quest for glory. There have been suggestions on social media that requests were made regarding creating an outdoor venue for the games to be shown, but were batted off for what appeared to be a number of reasons.
That, thankfully, will change on Wednesday, with Lord Mayor Magid Magid announcing that a ‘mahoosive’ screen, as he described in his own inimitable way, will be put up on Devonshire Green.
It took long enough, but the bandwagon has belatedly hitched up in these parts and party has finally come to Sheffield. Turns out the council even think it's coming home, even if it took Gareth Southgate's men to reach the semi-finals before they believed it.