Euro 2024: English street catches Euro fever with eye-catching flag display

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England's 'most patriotic estate' is once again decked out in flags ahead of the Euros - with a new mural of local lad Eberechi Eze added for this year.

Residents at the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, southeast London, have adorned their homes with St George's flags - despite being close to not doing so this time. But Chris Dowse, who organises the decorations during international tournaments, made the decision to troop the colours in extra time.

The 45-year-old told fellow residents: "We have to do something - it's the Kirby Estate!" Locals have supported both the Three Lions and the Lionesses in tournaments in recent years with elaborate displays of flags and bunting.

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Before the Lionesses 2022 European Championship triumph, an artist painted a mural of Chelsea midfielder Fran Kirby on a wall at the estate. This year, residents opted for Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze to accompany her on another wall.

The new mural of south London-born Eze, who spent some two years during his youth career at local club Milwall before joining Queens Park Rangers and later Palace, is set against a backdrop of a St George's flag. The 25-year-old has been selected to represent his country at a major international tournament for the first time in his career - something the Kirby Estate residents believe has been a long time coming.

Mr Dowse said: "The kid grew up in Greenwich, went to a local school. And he actually used to play for Milwall. Initially we though of doing Harry Kane, but he has one at the Spurs ground already.

"We wanted to do a current player, and Eze was born and raised in Greenwich all his life, so it was a no-brainer, really. The mural is quite incredible - and it was all really last minute."

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General views of Kirby estate, Bermondsey, London, in the run up to Euro 2024. Photo: Tony Kershaw / SWNSGeneral views of Kirby estate, Bermondsey, London, in the run up to Euro 2024. Photo: Tony Kershaw / SWNS
General views of Kirby estate, Bermondsey, London, in the run up to Euro 2024. Photo: Tony Kershaw / SWNS | Tony Kershaw / SWNS

Artist Mark Meana - AKA MrMeana - arrived on the estate on Tuesday (11 June) to draw the outline of the mural, before returning in the morning to colour it in. Amazingly, the Eze mural took him just a few hours to complete, using spray cans to paint over the white backdrop residents had painted yesterday.

Mr Meana, 47, laughed at how he and his friends used to get in trouble for their graffiti, whereas now people were asking him to come and do it. The artist, who has been using spray paints since he was just 14, said: "We used to get arrested for this, but now we get flown all over the world to do it... It still blows my mind.

"Giving back to people is a nice thing to do. The England players give so much for us and the country, so to do this for them is an honour.

"Eze has his local connections and now he has his long overdue England call up. If I was a betting man, I would put money on him scoring an important goal."

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On the Three Lion's chances of winning the tournament, he added: "We have got as good a chance as ever, but it's going to take something special. Surely this is the year we can finish it and win a cup. I'm just excited."

Mr Dowse agreed, saying: "What we do is always to support the boys. We've done it for years and it's all about supporting Gareth and the team.

"I always have very high hopes and I always believe we are going to win it, then I'm always disappointed when we don't - apart from when the women won it."

He added that the decorating of the estate will continue until the start of the tournament, saying: "Normally, every single balcony has a flag. We haven't got enough to do every single one this year, as we've had to throw some away and they cost money. But we're just going to have to make do with what we've got."

England's Euros campaign kicks off tonight at 8pm live on BBC.

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