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England fan Joe Bass ecstatic after Sweden victory

Joe Bass with his lucky hat
Joe Bass with his lucky hat

England fan Joe Bass has been reunited with his lucky Russian Navy officer's hat in time for Wednesday night's World Cup semi-final showdown with Croatia.

Joe, from Newark, thought he'd lost the hat during riotous celebrations after Gareth Southgate's team's two-nil victory over Sweden on Saturday that saw England reach their first semi-final since 1990 and only their third ever.

"A Russian took a fancy to it and wore it all night," Joe said.

"When I went to retrieve it he had gone. I was gutted. But next morning a woman came running after me. She had found it. I was delighted I had been reunited with my lucky hat."

Joe said he hardly slept a wink after Saturday's win, which came courtesy of goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli

"We are still buzzing like a fly round a light-bulb," he said.

"We all are. Not just because of the England win but how we won.

"Previously we won our games by sheer guts and tenacity, but against Sweden we played some classy football.

"We hardly put a foot wrong.

"The back three were outstanding and Pickford's saves were inspirational, especially the one just after half-time."

Joe said the mood among England fans was excitable.

"We all agree it has been out best World Cup for decades," he said: "The long-distance train journeys, the lack of sleep, the heat and discomfort have been worthwhile.

"We feel sorry for those fans back home having to experience it all second-hand.

"I'm looking forward to Moscow.

"I was hoping to meet Russia in the semis,they have been the perfect hosts."


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