The match between England and Lithuania will kick-start a weekend of nail-biting sport for sports fans when the teams take to the field at Wembley tonight.
But their national team’s European Championship qualifier won’t be half as exciting for Lithuanians in West Norfolk as the CWA Lynn Fury’s biggest game in recent history tomorrow night.
For the basketball team will be hoping to drum home why the game is Lithuania’s national sport when it takes on Brunel University Ducks in the National Basketball League’s (NBL) Division Four quarter final playoffs at Lynnsport from 6pm.
Boasting several Lithuanian players, the fearless Fury team and an almighty crowd of around 250 supporters are planning to make its final home stand of the season one to remember.
Fury promoter Kevin Holland, and managing director of team sponsor The Solar Shed, said the club’s fortunes changed for the better when it reached out to Lynn’s Eastern European community a few years ago.
“Fury was languishing at the bottom of Division Four. The players were good kids, but we weren’t going anywhere,” he said. “Then we realised there was a huge Eastern European population in this area with Lithuanians who didn’t want to play football, but their national sport of basketball.”
Fury now has many Lithuanians on the team, alongside Polish, Portugese and English players and one Russian.
Mr Holland said: “It’s not only good for the Eastern Europeans, but it’s good for local people too as it shows they’re not just foreigners coming in, they want to be part of the community.”
At the start of every Fury game, the team flies the national flags of its players to highlight the ‘nations of Norfolk’ and the Lithuanian basketball anthem is played.
Fury cheerleaders also get the crowd going, with chants, singing and the sound of drums reverberating around the stadium.
Mr Holland said: “No-one has got a crowd like Fury. There’s not another crowd like it. When the drums start, they rise to the occasion.
“Lynn has got a really diverse and vibrant community, and at Fury it’s about celebrating that inclusion.”
Doors open at Lynnsport tomorrow evening at 5.45pm, ready for tip-off at 6pm. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for under 16s.
There will be updates on the game as they happen on Twitter: @KingsLynnLive