Heathrow serenades fans on the 'Great Escape' to South Africa
Wednesday 9, June 2010
Thousands of dedicated football followers have begun pouring through Heathrow on their way to support England in South Africa. Fans leaving today enjoyed music by the England Supporters Band, and follow in the steps of the team themselves who left from Heathrow last week.
Around 25,000 fans are expected to follow England, with June 8 and 9 the most popular departure days. Over 2,000 passengers will travel from Heathrow to South Africa on these dates, as the airport offers the only direct links between the UK and South Africa as well as connections to 180 cities worldwide.
The UK's only hub airport teamed up with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to distribute information to departing supporters about the 'Be on the Ball' campaign, which highlights some basic tips for a safe and enjoyable stay in South Africa.
In addition, fans were able to try their hand at a 'powerful penalty' competition, with the fastest kick of the day winning £100 in airport shopping vouchers. Contestants were backed all the way by stirring renditions of 'The Great Escape', 'Colonel Bogey' and 'Jerusalem', amongst other football favourites from the England Supporters Band's rousing repertoire.
Nick Cullen, Heathrow's chief operating officer, said: "We're always working hard to ensure our passengers have a good experience at Heathrow, wherever they are going, and we especially wish England fans a safe and enjoyable trip to South Africa. Let's hope both they and the team have a successful tournament."
The airport has gone football crazy, with live coverage of matches on large screens in all terminals, sponsored by Emirates airline. England legend Viv Anderson is also signing copies of his autobiography at WHSmith Books after security in Terminal 3 from 6pm on June 8. Football related retail offers include the Nivea for Men England washbag available at Boots, South African Amarula Cream liqueur available at the Heathrow price of £12.99 at World Duty Free and Krispy Kreme football doughnuts available at Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.
Heathrow is also offering the chance to win a chance to win a luxurious seven-night stay in Cape Town, including return flights from London, at heathrow.com/win
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