Where were you when Beckham missed?

For two and a half nail-biting hours on Thursday night, millions of football fans were entranced by a single sporting drama. But there was more than one way to see the game...

ALEXEI SAYLE
Comedian, actor and author
Where: Home in Bloomsbury

I've never liked watching football in pubs because you really can't concentrate on what's going on, so I settled down on my sofa with my cat Tiger for the Portugal match.

I'm not a great one for leaping around and jumping up when it gets exciting, but this one was gripping. For me the match took a turn when Rooney went off.

But, as nerve-racking as it was, I really think we've got the best England team I've ever seen, certainly the best since 1966. I went to bed thinking; yeah, we're out, but at least we weren't a complete disgrace.

EDITH BOWMAN
Radio Presenter
Where: Presenting live show from Glastonbury Festival

The weird thing is that I'm Scottish and I am a football fan through and through and I'm gutted we're not in this competition. So people expect you not to support England, but it's hard not to support them. After that first game against France I felt genuinely upset for them.

My grandmother is English so I do have some English blood but my heart is in Scotland. If Scotland were playing, it would be a different matter. What I didn't like was the game where all the England fans were singing: "Are you Scotland in disguise?"

England scored about three minutes before we went on air. We had a band who really wanted to watch the football but they were playing live so I'd told them it would be fine, it was only just kicking off and then England had already scored...

The atmosphere watching it here at Glastonbury is amazing. And it's actually a lot more comfortable than a lot of the grounds I've been in and a better view as well.

Portugal looked like they had a really good going over with the manager at half-time. England lost a lot of their sharpness when Rooney came off. When Portugal scored, you knew it was coming because the amount of pressure they were putting on. Everyone's absolutely gutted at the moment because England should have won.

I ended up in the hospitality tent for the penalties. It was nerve-racking. I can't believe Beckham missed that. He must feel shit. With penalties, the adrenaline is always pumping but bizarrely, it was this amazing emotional thing.

I felt very sad for them, totally. But within five minutes, everybody was up dancing to Jet and it was, like, we've still got Glastonbury.

DENIS MACSHANE
Minister for Europe
Where: At home

I watched the game with family and friends from Geneva. I hope that when Switzerland finally joins the EU, a certain referee will understand that when the ball is in the back of the net, with no foul, we call it a goal in the rest of Europe. I felt despair, total despair; there are too many memories, from Mexico 1970 to Portugal 2004, of losing at this stage of a tournament. But in football, as in politics, the best defence is attack. I was surprised, therefore, in the second half at the extent to which England seemed incapable of controlling the game.

BOB CROW
Leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union
Where: Local pub in London

I'm gutted. I watched it in the pub with my wife and friends. I was very tense. I really did think we were going to win.In hindsight, I thought we sat back and invited Portugal to attack all night. You could see the equaliser coming. But I don't think it was a foul when Campbell's goal was disallowed. I was screaming at the television. When it went to penalties, I thought: "Here we go again." After the match, I walked straight out of the pub and went home and sulked.

JILLY COOPER
Novelist
Where: At home with family

I watched it at home. It's better that way because you can get nice and drunk with your family. We probably made more noise than all the people in pubs did anyway. Even the cats and dogs were watching.

It was very depressing, I felt so sorry for the players. I was not impressed with the referee, though. Typical Swiss: they like it to be neutral don't they? Doesn't matter if it's wars or football.

I lost the England flag my son, Felix, had bought for me when it fell out of the car window yesterday. It was probably an omen.

ADRIAN CHILES
Television presenter and journalist
Where: Restaurant on Murter, Croatian island

It was my wife's birthday and we'd arranged four of her friends to turn up for a surprise at a restaurant near her family home in Croatia, where we are on holiday. We were having a great evening and should have known that watching the football would ruin it. It's been a bad week. Because my wife is Croatian we were supporting her side on Monday, and so both of our teams have gone out in four days. We all knew, though, that despite the disappointment, the best team won last night.

BRIAN PATTEN
Poet
Where: Chelsea Arts Club

I had a bit of trouble finding somewhere to watch the game. I started my evening at the Chelsea Arts Club, but there was a coathanger on the television where the aerial should have been. I realised I'd end up watching a snowstorm instead of the match, so I quickly moved to a pub in Paddington. It was absolute mayhem and there was hardly room to move. I was surrounded by lots of passionate fans with shaved heads and painted faces. It was a great game, but life's not fair is it? It was always going to be a close one.

JACK CHARLTON
1966 World Cup-winning team
Where: At holiday home in Ireland

One of the longest games I've ever wat- ched. I kept looking at the clock, looking at the game and then looking back at the clock. But as I sat watching the television, drinking a glass of red wine, I was thinking, "We're getting away with this. We're going to win 1-0." But of course, we didn't. I still think we should have won. There was nothing I could see wrong with Campbell's goal. We were very badly done to. After the game, I thought, "Ach, We've not done it again." Maybe next time, eh.

JACQUELINE GOLD
Ann Summers CEO
Where: Le Byblos Hotel, St Tropez

There's been football blood in my family since my father bought into Birmingham City, so my sister and I made sure we had prime seats at the hotel bar for the match.

It was strange watching England play from a French hotel because it was understandably lacking the blind support we usually give our side.

Ultimately, though, the result was devastating for us both. In a way it was nice to be away from home, because we will at least avoid the nationwide depression back in Britain.

TAMARA BECKWITH
Actress
Where: At a friend's home, Chelsea

I'm getting more and more interested in football these days, although my partner Giorgio is Italian so I've had to watch what I say since they went out last week. I never actually intended to watch the Portugal match. I'd arranged to go to a friend's house, because our men were away and we'd planned to do something together. As it turned out, though, the match was on every television in every room of the house and so we ended up being absolutely gripped.

RAGEH OMAAR
Broadcaster
Where: On holiday in Devon

I'm having a week's break and watched the game in a tiny seaside village with my wife and kids. I am a terrible potterer when it comes to football. I find myself darting out of the room, only to return a split second later in case I miss something. This was no exception. As soon as it went to penalties that horrible, gut-wrenching sense of foreboding (familiar to every England fan) took over. Many a young fan will now have been introduced to this national sporting trauma. I suppose it is now one of the things that defines what it means to be English.

TONY BANKS
Labour MP for West Ham, former sports minister
Where: Irish bar, Strasbourg

The small pub I was in is right next to the university, crammed with students from all countries, including a small number of Portuguese. It was a really nice atmosphere, but the match was bitterly disappointing.The result was marred by the decision to disallow our second goal. The more replays you see, the clearer it gets there was nothing wrong with that goal. The pub emptied out pretty sharpish after the penalties. When you lose like that the only thing you can do is go home and lick your wounds.

LAUREN BOOTH
Writer
Where: In front of the Pyramid stage, Glastonbury

I watched the match at Glastonbury with 60,000 people - the largest crowd in the world. There was a real momentum early on. There were waves of cheering and, because the crowd was so big, an echo.

When Sol Campbell scored we all jumped up as one, hugged each other and screamed. Then it wavered to, What? What? What? I knew it'd go to penalties and we'd lose. But, then again, this was a Glastonbury crowd. We all picked ourselves up the next morning. Sod it.

URI GELLER
Paranormalist
Where: On the move, London

I was travelling during the first half, so I had a tiny TV set with me. I looked quite bizarre as I walked down Oxford Street, but I watched the second half with friends.

I'm not a miracle worker, but I do believe in the power of consciousness. I was trying to send positive energy to the players; I was very tense, screaming at the television.

As soon as Beckham missed the first penalty, I knew it was over. There was a fear vibrating off that miss into the hearts of our players. I feel very sad. It really does hurt.

MARK HILTON
Tennis player
Where: A pub in Wimbledon

I watched it a packed bar with a bunch of friends. After winning my match earlier in the day [against Albert Costa, the former French Open champion], I felt confident England would win. When we scored, I thought we were on the way but then when Rooney went off the whole game changed. I still can't understand why Sol Campbell's goal was ruled out. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I kept believing we'd do it but then penalties. Devastating. Again. I went back to my B&B but couldn't get to sleep for quite a while.

TIM MARLOW
Arts anchor for Five
Where: House in Islington

I watched the game at my brother's house in Islington. There were about 10 of us shouting at the screen. I had a broadcast on Five at 7.30pm and we pretended that we were going to watch that instead, but the others quickly switched channels when the game began. I was commentating on the penalty shoot-out to some friends via my mobile phone, so it was a very manic evening. I thought that Portugal played well and Beckham was brave to take the first penalty. Losing makes you so depressed the next day.

DON FOSTER
Liberal Democrat sports spokesman
Where: At home in Bath

Even a bottle of my finest Chateau Barbeyrolles rosé couldn't dull the pain, or the tension, of what will come to be known as "that match". I watched with my wife, although I spent half of the penalty shoot-out in the hall, not bearing to look.

The pace was frenetic, and what the England side seemed at times to lack in skill, they more than made up for with a tangible team spirit.

Despite some great performances - especially from Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell - however hard it is to say it, Portugal probably deserved to win.

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