ABINGDON’S Kings Head and Bell hosted the football just like any other pub yesterday, but for Glenn and Emma Illing, the match was a particularly special one.

The pair had been married just hours earlier – and interrupted their own reception at the venue to dip into England's win over Sweden.

Mr and Mrs Illing, both 27, only realised during England’s penalty shoot-out win over Colombia, earlier in the week, that today’s quarter-final would be bang in the middle of their wedding day.

“There was a discussion”, Emma laughs, adding: “I first said no” – “I first said yes”, Glenn interjects.

Emma continued: “I wasn’t all for it at first.

“But then I had a change of heart – if you can’t beat them join them.

“As long as everyone has a nice time, I don’t mind.”

Speaking after the ceremony, they said: “It’s been wonderful, amazing, and nerve wracking.

“England's win just makes it even better - it was all the more reason to celebrate.”

The couple, who met at school and have been together for four and a half years, booked the wedding almost a year ago and did not consider that the World Cup might be an issue.

The pub – which is one of the Abingdon couple’s favourites – showed the game on a 62-inch screen downstairs while the wedding reception continued in an upstairs room.

And Emma and Glenn were all set to watch England qualify for the semi-final in full wedding regalia, including a suave Gareth Southgate-esque waist coat, white wedding dress and England flag. 

Some of the family were against the idea of taking time out from the reception to watch the game, but Emma’s step father, Tony Rendell, 58, applauded the move.

“Weddings are really important between a couple but when they have the quarter final of the World Cup on the same day there is a choice.

“It’s watching the football and having a big bust up with the wife or staying at the wedding and I think there is only one outcome. The football is going to win.

Herald Series:

Tony and Alison Rendell at the wedding reception. Picture: Harrison Jones

“Football will be coming home but I’ll be staying out.”

Noreen Murphy, the general manager of the pub, added: “When we do a wedding we don’t expect an England game. It’s quite a coincidence. I think it’s bringing them luck and England luck. Let the sun shine of them both.

“This is our first wedding with the football. It’s a novelty.

“I actually think she is very brave because she realises that the blokes are going to watch the game. It shows that she has a strong spirit.

“We just wish them all the best.”