Home  »     »   World Cup Diary: Star spotting and a full English kick-off trip

World Cup Diary: Star spotting and a full English kick-off trip

| 11.06.2014

Throughout the World Cup group stage (and possibly beyond if the purse strings allow) Ladbrokes’ Alex Donohue will be bringing you his thoughts, opinions and insight (perhaps stretching it a little too far) into this summer’s feast of football. 

Ensconced within (or at least, near) the English press pack, our man in Brazil will be talking to the key opinion makers in the media and sharing their views with Ladbrokes customers.

But that’s not all. More importantly he’ll be giving you a flavour of the atmosphere in football-mad Brazil during the globe’s biggest football tournament with plenty of action from outside the stadiums to keep you entertained.

And to kick-off, as Alex sets off for Rio he’s been busy star spotting at Heathrow Aiport and saying goodbye to Blighty in the best way possible – with a full English breakfast.

World Cup Diary – Day 1

I’ve got a pretty good strike rate when it comes to seeing the rich and the famous at airports.

So, suffice it to say I kept the hot streak going when the first person I clapped eyes on as I negotiated  the walkway into Heathrow’s gleaming Terminal 5 departure lounge with my rickety bag-laden trolley was Wes Brown.

Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes after an early start, this only served to add to the general sense of confusion.

He retired from international football around four years ago didn’t he? *checks Wikipedia* He did.

Before the BBC gossip column could even load, it all suddenly became clear as his former teammate Phil Bardsley ambled up alongside to ask the neatly turned out BA crew member and asked: “Where do we check in for business class to LA, love?” WAGS in tow, they trotted off for their summer holiday.

Presumably, Phil will keep an eye out for a short internal flight to Vegas when they pitch up at LAX.


Anyway, I digress. I’ll now open the blog  as I intended to , which is to let you know that I’ve been lucky enough to be sent to Brazil to follow the England team for the group stages (optimism summed up there) on behalf of Ladbrokes.

Camera in hand, I’ll be bringing you all of the relevant news affecting the betting from the ground coupled with the colour of the Brazil. Think of me as a strange lovechild of Michael Palin and John McCririck if you will (in fact, please don’t) as I try to sum up the sights and sounds of the greatest carnival on earth in one neat blog.

The cheerful Italian working in the Three Tuns pub has just brought me my full English while wishing me luck in Manaus, with his cheeky smile telling me all I need to know about the expectations of the opposing nations before the first game.

As I tuck into black pudding and bangers for the last time in three weeks and turn to page one of my Lonely Planet Brazil guide, it’s time to sign off.


See you on the other side!


Follow my journey at Ladbrokes News and get in touch via @LadsAlex!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.



Alex Donohue

One third of Ladbrokes' PR team, Alex covers football, politics and current affairs and is also involved in the bookmaker's SPFL sponsorship.
Check out his latest press releases and odds at Ladbrokes News.