If things go Martin Damon's way, he'll have the best excuse for being late to work today.

The avid English football fan will be watching this morning's semifinal between Croatia and Damon's motherland England to see who will progress into the final of this year's Fifa World Cup.

If England go through, it will be a dream come true for Damon.

"I've watched nearly every game. I get right into it. I've been right into it since I was a young boy," he said.

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Damon had faith his team would pull through but if he was being honest, he was also happy they had simply made it this far.

"We've had so many years of upset," he said.

"Every time it comes around, every time we think 'it's our chance this time', something or someone always slips up. Whether it's penalty shoot outs or a sending off.

"But with football, whether we win or lose, we know we will have a bloody good sing-song."

Damon, an Eves real estate agent, said he had already warned his boss he'll be starting later.

Damon has been living in New Zealand for about 12 years but said: "I must admit, I wouldn't mind being back for this.

"It would be ridiculous."

England, the 1966 World Cup champions, last reached the semifinals in 1990. In 2014, the team didn't even make it out of the group stage.

Crown and Badger duty manager Rob Field said there had been plenty of interest in the game with inquiries flowing in since the World Cup began.

"We've got two Englishmen working here and we are hoping for a result but we're not holding our breath. We've grown up with disappointment with English football."

Field would be watching from home, so he could burst into tears with no one watching, he joked.

The UK-themed pub was offering a breakfast screening of the game this morning and by 2.30pm, Field had already been inundated with people booking tables.


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In Russia, and around the world, English supporters have become increasingly jubilant throughout the World Cup. The song Three Lions, originally written and performed for the 1996 European Championships, with it's catchy refrain of "football's coming home", has swept back up the UK charts as anticipation for the semifinal drew near.