Football: Swinging to the sound of `Half a Pint'

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The Independent Online
"Half a Pint of Lager", as well as being a phrase spoken in pubs across the land, is also the name of one of two Dutch brass bands following their national team at Euro 96.

When England and the Netherlands meet tonight at Wembley, "Half a Pint" and "The Orange Hooters" will be calling the tune off the pitch. "It's simple: if the fans sing, they cannot fight," Harry Verdonk, trumpeter and leader of the 10-strong Hooters, said.

Sponsored by the Dutch Football Association and a daily newspaper, the two bands made Birmingham swing last week when the Netherlands played Scotland and Switzerland. Thousands of fans danced and sang along to Dutch tunes to create the most festive scenes of Euro 96. "The atmosphere was really fantastic," a police spokeswoman said.

The two bands want to achieve the same when they perform near Wembley. "We want people to have a good time," Verdonk added. "If they start to make trouble, we'll go home."