More than one in five football supporters would miss the birth of their first child so they could watch England play in the 2010 World Cup final, a study has found.
The survey, conducted on behalf of online bookmaker PartyBets.com, attempted to find out the lengths that football supporters would be willing to go so as not to miss what could be the biggest day in English football since 1966.
In total, 20.2 per cent of respondents admitted that they would be willing to miss the birth of their first son or daughter if it clashed with England’s appearance in the World Cup showpiece.
A quarter of supporters (25.3 per cent) claimed they would miss the funeral of a friend or family member should it happen to clash with the final in Johannesburg, while 29.3 per cent would be prepared to miss or cancel their own wedding.
But more than half of those who responded to the survey (54.5 per cent) said that, should the opportunity arise, they would prefer to go on a first date with pop star Cheryl Cole.
Only 34.3 per cent of football fans would be prepared to cancel a luxury holiday should it clash with the World Cup final.
There was also bad news for Britain’s bosses, with the poll revealing that 73.7 per cent of fans would be prepared to “throw a sickie” if they were asked to work whilst England were playing, although 82.2 per cent admitted that they would try to book the day off.
Warren Lush, spokesman for PartyBets.com said: “It seems like the Ashley versus Cheryl debate permeates every area of life. Over half the people surveyed said they would rather go on a first date with Cheryl than cheer on Ashley in an England World Cup Final team. It just goes to show how much she has the X Factor.”
To see the full survey results, visit http://worldcup.partybets.com.