Our man in Moscow: Shrewsbury's Carl sees stars in World Cup adventure of a lifetime
As summer holidays go, it's not a bad one. While the country is gathered round their TV screens tonight watching England bid for a place in the World Cup final, one Shrewsbury man will be cheering the team on from the stands.
Carl Jex, says he has been living the dream, enjoying the trip of a lifetime in Russia, following the Three Lions' progression through the group and the knockout rounds to the furthest stage since 1990.
Carl, 44, is in Russia with three friends; Dave Taylor, Adrian Evans, and Pete Hanratty. He has been documenting the trip on his Twitter account, with a series of pictures showing the scenes around Russia, and even meeting the players after the games.
England's hero against Sweden and the penalty shoot-out against Colombia, Jordan Pickford, took time out after the side's only defeat of the campaign – to Belgium in the group stage dead-rubber – to pose for a picture with Carl, who described the Everton stopper as "a lovely lad, and very friendly".
Carl's tour diary of picture also shows his friends meeting captain Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
In an image that will leave all England fans green-eyed with envy Carl posted a picture of his ticket tonight's crunch semi-final clash with Croatia.
He is also set to stay for the final, if England can find a way past the Croatians to continue their World Cup adventure.
A place in the final would eclipse the success of the famed 1990 team, and would leave the players with only one more hurdle to match the greatest side in English history, Bobby Moore's 1966 team.
Carl said that Russia had been a great venue, despite concerns in the media ahead of the tournament, and that they had been enjoying the trip of a lifetime.
He also backed England to emerge victorious from tonight's semi-final.
Speaking from Russia he said: "It’s very exciting times to be honest has, it is a chance of lifetime to be here.
"I’m out here with three others and it has been a great experience to go to the games and see this beautiful place. My prediction against Croatia is that it will be close, but an England 2-1 win."
Asked about the best moment so far the married father of three said: "The atmosphere inside the ground at Sweden game would take some beating, but also the fan zone after the game was amazing."
The quartet have also been making sure there is Shropshire representation at the tournament with an England flag featuring the Shrewsbury Town crest.