Sunday 27 November 2022 06:41 PM England superfan visits Qatar for his NINTH World Cup trends now
One England superfan has gone to his ninth World Cup 40 years after he travelled to Spain for his first.
And his conclusion after all the tournament ups and downs he has endured is that England are just 'unpredictable'
He was given a ticket to Spain '82 as a 21st birthday present from his parents and has missed only two tournaments since.
Terry Matson was in Mexico to witness Maradonna's 'hand of God' goal and Italy for England's infamous penalty shoot-out against Germany. He is pictured above with his World Cup tickets from over the years
His love of football has now taken him to Qatar, where Gareth Southgate's men look set to make it into the knockout stages.
The 61-year-old bricklayer from Kent has gone there with his son where he has met other fans he knows from previous tournaments and they cheered on England in their win over Iran.
Speaking just before England's bore draw with the US, Mr Matson said the alcohol stadium ban had not dampened his enjoyment of the tournament.
He said: 'We found a place in the city centre who are showing the games on a massive screen. You are paying over the top but we are in comfort.
'Everywhere is air conditioned. You feel the air coming up the back of your legs in the stadiums.'
His love of football has now taken him to Qatar, where Gareth Southgate's men look set to make it into the knockout stages
The cheapest beer is Corona at £8.50 and he says he was charged £27 for three tiny glass bottles of Coca-cola and a cappuccino at one plush hotel when seeking shelter from heat.
He added: 'So far, it has been really good.
'The hospitality has been spot on, the Metro has been unbelievable. It's being run really well.
'I am with my son and you get out here and you just meet people from all over the country, also people we have met in Russia and Japan, from previous tournaments.
'Some are staying in Dubai and getting a shuttle flight across. We used to organise meeting up but a lot of people are getting older now.
The cheapest beer is Corona at £8.50 and he says he was charged £27 for three tiny glass bottles of Coca-cola and a cappuccino at one plush hotel when seeking shelter from heat
'I believe the best supported country is Mexico. We went to the game against Poland and were right there with the Mexican fans singing and having photos with them.
'They really love their football. It was just a pity it wasn't a good game. But we are enjoying it here, filling up days going to games.
'There are so many checks to get in, they are checking the flags, and no one has been able to download their tickets, it's a bit chaotic really.
'They did check in Russia too, but I think they are checking for any demonstrations, if anyone has a flag that has anything written on it that it shouldn't.'
Asked what he thinks of England's chances he said: 'I never make any predictions because having seen it all England are always so unpredictable at every single tournament.
Over the last 40 years, Mr Matson has been all over the globe to roar on the Three Lions but this will be his first time watching them take centre stage in the Arab world
'I always say it is in the hands of the manager and the players, it's not down to me.'
Mr Matson says security is taken very seriously in the capital city of Doha but he has not observed any issues.
He said: 'There has been no problems that we have seen so far. We have come across fans from Argentina and Mexico and they have talked to us.
'There is police everywhere but you only see a few with pistols and pepper spray.'
Over the last 40 years, Mr Matson has been all over the globe to roar on the Three Lions but this will be his first time watching them take centre stage in the Arab world.
Qatar is reported to have spent in excess of £185 billion hosting the World Cup, dwarfing the £11.6bn the Russians piled into the tournament.
But as the 32 teams gather in Doha the country's human rights record is also being thrown into the spotlight.
Mr Matson, pictured holding up a Mexican flag, said: 'I believe the best supported country is Mexico. We went to the game against Poland and were right there with the Mexican fans singing and having photos with them'
Mr Matson is pictured alongside a Mexico fan . The Arsenal fan also said organising his trip to the Middle East has been 'more hassle' than past tournaments with 'email after email' and money wasted on PCR tests that are no longer needed
It comes amid ongoing suffering among workers, women and the LGBTQ+ community in the country.
Mr Matson said: 'I'm totally against all that. You can't say you don't want LGBTQ+ people here.'
He doesn't believe Qatar should have been awarded hosting rights in the first place but he said a 'one-man' boycott is ineffective, adding: 'It means more to them at the top than everyone else.'
The Arsenal fan also said organising his trip to the Middle East has been 'more hassle' than past tournaments with 'email after email' and money wasted on PCR tests that are no longer needed.
The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar and an 11th hour U-turn on the sale of beer in stadiums has also riled fans.
Mr Matson said: 'They are making up the rules as they go along. It's nice to be outside the stadium and have a beer, especially when it is hot. But it is their country and their rules.
Terry Matson is pictured above with his son Jordan in Russia for the World Cup 2018 tournament
Terry Matson is pictured above at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. That year, England - under the old format - were eliminated after the second group stage
Of all the hard-luck stories, Maradona's infamous Hand of God goal that helped Argentina knock England out in the quarter-finals in 1986 is perhaps the most talked about. He is pictured right