It’s Southgate v MP Jones in a battle of half-time team talks

Gareth Southgate: big challenge this afternoon

Who gives the better half-time talk: Gareth Southgate or Sarah Jones MP?

Those attending today’s annual Blues and Jazz Festival staged in the gardens of Ruskin House will be able to judge for themselves the answer to that question.

The Labour MP for Croydon Central is scheduled to give a short speech to the assembled crowds at the town centre venue at just about the same time as former Eagles defender Southgate will be handing around the half-time oranges to his England squad during their World Cup quarter-final against Sweden.

Sarah Jones: tough gig

Jones has potentially the tougher gig, with most of the nation likely to be glued to their TVs this afternoon, and more likely to use the half-time interval to recharge their glasses or brew a fresh pot of tea.

Not that anyone at the Ruskin House Blues and Jazz Festival needs to miss out on the big match.

Organisers have arranged for a big screen to be tuned in from the 3pm kick-off, so that no one needs to miss a moment of the action.

And for those who don’t like football, and who are not even a little intrigued about whether England will make it through to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, the bands will play on: Jiya and the Dave King Band are due on stage while the match is being played.

Doors open for the Ruskin House Blues and Jazz Festival at noon today, with entry for adults £5, accompanied children are free entry.

There are barbecues and food stalls, other side stalls, a bouncy castle, and music all day long through to 10.30pm, as funds are raised to help repair and restore the Grade II-listed building.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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