July 8, 2018 / 3:55 PM / a year ago

Soccer: Next stop Moscow for England fans in a camper van

SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) - England fans Nigel Holder and Larry McNulty climbed into the cab of their camper van on Sunday and set off for the next leg of their Russia World Cup odyssey, the 20-hour journey to Moscow, venue for their team’s semi-final match.

The two building contractors from Cheltenham, western England, who drove all the way out to Russia in their Mercedes van last month, watched their team defeat Sweden in Saturday’s quarter final in the Russian city of Samara.

Their next stop is the Russian capital, but there is one snag: they don’t have tickets for the game, when England will take on Croatia.

“If anyone’s got any tickets out there, we’re desperate for the semi-final,” said Holder in the van before striking out for Moscow, just over 1,000 km (600 miles) north-west of Samara.

The pair left England on June 12 and have been on the road since, taking in World Cup venue cities Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Moscow and Samara in support of the England team.

England have exceeded expectations by making it to the last four of the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Heading towards Moscow, the two friends both wore “ushanka” hats - the trademark Russian headgear worn in winter with flaps that cover the ears - as a souvenir of a country they said had given them a warm welcome.

“It’s an adventure,” said McNulty. “We don’t know how long we’re going to be here, and we’re just making the most of it.”

Reporting by Catherine Kopppel; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Keith Weir

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