HUNDREDS of patriotic football fans descended on pubs and bars across the city to cheer on England as they kicked off their Euro 2012 campaign with a draw against France on Monday evening.
And a large number of supporters of all ages enjoyed a special screening of the Group D game at Chester Racecourse.
More than 300 people watched the big match inside The Pavilion with admission free of charge.
Chester Race Company communications manager Emma Blackmore said: “It was a lovely evening and a very good atmosphere. There was a brilliant mix of people – from students through to mums and dads with kids, to couples and older people.”
Sarah Hurley, manager of the George and Dragon in Liverpool Road, said more than 250 football fans were glued to the big screens and televisions at her pub, including several French students.
“It was fabulous, everyone was in good spirits,” she added.
About 400 fans watched the match at Off the Wall in St John Street, and the city centre sports bar expects even more to turn out for England’s second group game against Sweden on Friday, which kicks off at the later time of 7.45pm.
Chester FC also screened the match inside the Blues Bar at the Exacta Stadium, with about 40 supporters attending and enjoying free chips and sausages at half-time.
Cheshire police, who last week issued a warning to fans that they could be hit with football banning orders if they cause trouble in city pubs and bars during the tournament, confirmed they received no calls in the Chester area during the game.
Both Chester Racecourse and Chester FC will be screening England’s next game against Sweden on Friday. For free entry to the racecourse call 01244 304 610.