World Cup Diaries: (5) from Russia with love, back to Middlesbrough

This is the final instalment of the World Cup diaries of Monsieur Salut’s nephew, Andy Falconer, a good lad for all that he supports Boro (as he would, having spent his entire life there). Now back home, Andy reflects on an intriguing if brief trip to Russia 2018 and describes what he encountered there with some affection.
At Salut! Sunderland, we’ve perhaps been more preoccupied with SAFC but may be the place to go if you want to study the form and have a flutter on the remaining stages of the World Cup or, indeed, League One promotion prospects …
Well, we’ve passed halfway in the World Cup, the group stage is over, knockout games are well underway and I’m back from my travels.
Four years ago, in Brazil, I was fortunate to have three weeks towards the end of the tournament. This time I got to enjoy the steady build-up, the gradual arrival of hundreds of thousands of fans from across the world and the shared acculturation.


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World Cup Diaries: (4) Moscow en fête as Russians celebrate another big win

Our Boro-suppporting World Cup diarist – Monsieur Salut’s nephew, Andy Falconer – changes city. After revealing in the beauty of St Petersburg, he headed for Moscow. His 2018 tournament will soon enough be over – that pass-out from Sarah back home is about to expire – and he has now caught his last stadium game (see footnote for quick thoughts on the end of Morocco’s hopes)* and is returning to St Petersburg to fly home.

Here a few of his Moscow reflections. See earlier jottings at this link

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World Cup Diaries: (3) our Middlesbrough-supporting chronicler enjoys his first game

Andy with – it seems – a Hibs fan

This is the third instalment of the World Cup musings of Monsieur Salut’s Boro-supporting nephew, Andy Falconer, who saves hard-earned money to get to far-off places every four years (he’ll feel lost when England or the UK finally gets to host the tournament again). He wrote it on Saturday, having had to settle for a pub screen in St Petersburg for his first game – the trouncing of Saudi Arabia by Russia – before making his first stadium visit for Iran’s unexpected defeat of Morocco …



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Salut! Sunderland’s World Cup diaries: (1) glorious St Petersburg


Monsieur Salut writes: 0ur summer faithful will have noticed that I invited contributions from any reader who happened to be in Russia for the World Cup. No takers so far until Andy Falconer, not even a SAFC fan (he supports his home town Boro, where his mum – my sister – has lived all her adult life), was more or less pressganged into promising some occasional jottiongs.

Andy is well known to those who devour our Who are You? series, having contributed some fine responses last season – (‘Newcastle fans are noisy; Sunderland’s are noisier’).

This first item is really just a scene-setter. We’ll see how much else my nephew can provide once he starts seeing some football (which doesn’t seem to have happened for him when Russia enjoyed some shooting practice against Saudi Arabia, though he must have found a bar where he could watch it) …

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