Fans leave Wimbledon in droves to watch England match in pubs down

Centre Court largely emptied after Nadal’s match, as even those with prized show court tickets could not resist the temptation to abandon the tennis, returning later to watch Kyle Edmund, the British number one, take on three-times Wimbledon winner Nova Djokovic.Monty Parker, 28 and his girlfriend Alex Mahon, 29, had Centre Court tickets but left to watch the England game.“There was no discussion. This is what we’re doing and that’s that,” said Ms Mahon, who works in corporate well being. “He was not going to miss it for anything. I don’t know much about football, but it’s what we had to do.” Huge cheers went up in Centre and Number One Courts and up on the hill when England’s 2-0 victory was confirmed. Edith Macauley, 65, a retired legal executive from Rayner Park, even burst into a spontaneous rendition of ‘Football’s Coming Home’.There had even been split loyalties inside the prestigious Royal Box, where several sporting heroes were guests of honour.Sir Bobby Charlton, who played for England’s 1966 World Cup winning team left after Nadal’s victory to watch the rest of the England match.Not even the ball boys and girls could tear themselves away. During their rest period they were allowed to watch the football on some of the TV screens in their quarters. A football fan streams the World Cup Quarter Final action on a phone during the Simona Halep match on No.1 Court A football fan streams the World Cup Quarter Final action on a phone during the Simona Halep match on No.1 CourtCredit:James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock Some of the world’s great players may have been sweating it out on court in temperatures of 31C but tennis played second fiddle to football at Wimbledon yesterday.As the number two seed Rafael Nadal battled Australian Alex De Minaur on Centre Court hundreds of spectators poured out of the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.Their destination? Wimbledon Village, 15 minutes walk away, where England’s game against Sweden was being shown on screens at bars, pubs and restaurants.Hundreds queued at the gates of the AELTC for pass out bands, allowing them re-entry to the grounds later in the day, before rushing up to Wimbledon village to watch Harry Kane and his men played for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––At one stage so many wanted to leave that security guards struggled to keep up with demand for the wrist bands. Sir Bobby Charlton At the Rose and Crown pub in Wimbledon village there were chants of “get the tennis off” as fans waited eagerly for the football.Clive McCabe, from Twickenham, who had seats on Court One, said: “It’s the most people who have left Wimbledon on middle Saturday between 1pm and 2pm. There’s more people leaving than going in.”On Henman Hill – where fans sweltered on one of the hottest days of the year – dozens kept an eye on the England game with mobile phones and tablets, taking advantage of the AELTC’s wif-fi, while the day’s tennis was being shown on the giant screen in front of them. As Nick Luen, 23, a technical support officer, put it: “Wimbledon is every year, but we’ve never seen England with a chance of reaching the semis of a World Cup in our lifetime. That had to come first.”His friend Amy Rolls, 24, an assistant psychologist, added: “We had to leave to watch the game. We couldn’t have missed it.” Sir Bobby Charlton, who played for England’s 1966 World Cup winning team left after Nadal’s victory to watch the rest of the England matchCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more