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Stourbridge rooting for local lad Jude Bellingham ahead of crunch World Cup clash

Stourbridge's own Jude Bellingham has been praised for putting the town's name "up there in lights" with his stunning displays as the World Cup starts to heat up.

Events manager Danny McElwan, from The Parisian bar, Wolverhampton, gets set for the match on Saturday. Inset: Jude Bellingham.
Events manager Danny McElwan, from The Parisian bar, Wolverhampton, gets set for the match on Saturday. Inset: Jude Bellingham.

Football fans not making the trip to Qatar will instead be wrapped up at home, or warm in a pub, to view Saturday's quarter-final clash between England and France.

And there is the hope that England will be able to claim a vital win with a little magic from Bellingham.

One of those who will be rooting for the Stourbridge star will be Councillor Alan Hopwood, who represents Wollaston and Stourbridge Town on Dudley Council.

"I absolutely love the way the community here have got behind Bellingham," he said.

"He played for Stourbridge and I think it's fantastic that he's been able to put the town's name up there in lights.

"I think he's a great player and his younger brother is a fantastic player as well. When I lived in Birmingham I used to support Birmingham City so that's another reason I'm supporting Bellingham. I'm very pleased at what a great player he's been."

Councillor Hopwood's grandson, Enzo Jones-Pinon, is another who will be supporting England, with the 10-year-old following so far in Bellingham's footsteps by playing for the same Stourbridge club.

He's even asked for a shirt of the England star for Christmas, but will face a little bit of a family dispute on Saturday – with his mother being French and his dad being English.

But he will be hoping, like his grandfather, that England come out on top.

Councillor Hopwood added: "I think it might go over 90 minutes myself but I think 2-1 England. I'm not going to bet against England. Hopefully we can do it after extra time and hopefully it doesn't go to penalties."

Meanwhile Wolverhampton's French cocktail bar La Parisian is ready to serve celebrating Les Blues fans if they beat England on Saturday.

With a replica Eiffel Tower, French antiques and Continental styled decor, La Parisian is the most French place in Wolverhampton and a natural destination for admirers of Kylian Mbappe.

However, without any French staff the cocktail bar could be ringing with the sounds of God Save The King if Gareth Southgate's men vanquish the World Champions.

The Queen Square cocktail bar's events manager, Danny McElwan, is relieved they do not have a screen to watch the match as tensions look set to flare.

He said: "We have not got any French staff or fluent French speakers at the moment. We used to have a few French customers when we opened but we have become established we've got popular with everyone.

"We've not got a screen but we also have got the Grain Stores and the Bohemian so we will be showing the game at the Grain Stores. It is a massive game for England and France."

La Parisian's website boasts the bar "is a chic and eclectic French themed cocktail bar, bringing the fun, flair and ambience of Paris right to the centre of Wolverhampton city centre" and "you'll be forgiven for thinking you're lost in Paris".

But on Saturday night England fans hope that means there will be a lot of miserable French football fans.

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