Pawel Buder and Andrzej Kopczynski, two of Bishopsgate specialist installation team based at the Bishopsgate London Depot in NW10 organised to follow their national team Poland at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
Poland’s first group game against Senegal was held on 19th June in Moscow’s’ Luzhniki Stadium which has a seating capacity of 81,000 making it the largest football stadium in Russia and one of the largest stadiums in Europe.
Following a flight on 16th June from Heathrow to Moscow they met quite a few supporters from Mexico and other countries as they acclimatised to their surroundings.
The next two days saw our intrepid explorers, well avid football fans, do some traditional Moscow sightseeing including Red Square, Bolshoi Theatre, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Seven Sisters of Stalin, and a walk by the banks of the Moskva River.
While enjoying the city they noticed increasing numbers of Polish fans, especially in Red Square and while they were chatting to quite a few of them they proposed a meeting at 1pm on the following day…. Game Day versus Senegal.
Both full of optimism, Pav and Andy went to Red Square for the 1300 hrs meet!
As soon as they arrived they saw hundreds of Polish fans and Pawel immediately took on the role of leader. With his Soviet Russian Military Army Officer Pilotka Cap and a megaphone handed to him by another supporter Pawel took control. Another fan stood next to him and kept rhythm with a huge drum and the chanting began. It was so infectious that many other supporters from other countries joined in with the singing. Everyone had the best fun.
Russian and Peruvian TV approached Pawel and interview him. Polish fans followed and asked to take pictures with Pawel, so he felt like a celebrity. Pawel thinks that more people wanted to take pictures with him on the day than Poland’s best player Robert Lewandowski 😊
After a few hours of elation everyone headed to the stadi
um. The atmosphere was great, and the guys commented just how safe it felt, they both commented on how well they felt the tournament was organised, totally professional.
When they entered the stadium, they felt like the game was taking place in Poland due to enormous number of Polish fans. Despite amazing support Poland lost the game 1-2.
After the game many fans met in surrounding pubs and restaurants where they could share their experiences over a beer. The reality was that everyone wanted to forget about the game and Pawel was thinking about his flight back to London and his next Bishopsgate delivery in London.
The lads were sad that although an amazing experience for them the football presented by Poland wasn’t so good.