For Jamie Richardson, there was only ever going to be one winner of this World Cup — and that's England.
While watching England's World Cup match against Panama — in which the Three Lions convincingly won 6-1 — the Leeds native said he was struck with the realisation that England was going to bring the trophy home.
“We were four-nil up against Panama... just before half-time. It came to me, an epiphany: get the tattoo, we will bring it home. And that’s what I went out and did," Richardson said to Euronews.
"I haven’t looked back since.”
One of the factors was the stars aligning this year — or a series of coincidences, depending on how one looks at it — with 1966, the year England won its first and only World Cup.
"Man City came top of the league, Burnley came in the European places, Chelsea came fifth in the league and Real Madrid won the European Cup. All of them happened in 1966 and all of them have happened this year as well."
"The Germans are out. The Spanish are out. The Argentines are out. They’ve just given us a clear route to the final."
'Cuddling the flag like a teddy'
Even though the 32-year-old is absolute about his team winning the cup, it doesn't mean watching the matches are any less nerve-wracking, especially when England went to penalty shoot-outs against Colombia on Tuesday night.
"I was extremely nervous last night, I ain’t gonna lie. Everybody’s faith is tested at some point, even mine. But it was just unbelievable, saving them penalties last night. I was sat there cuddling my flag like a little kid cuddling his teddy. It was just unbelievable... Probably one of the best nights I’ve ever had."
'We should be getting behind our team'
After Richardson was inked, there was no shortage of reactions from people baffled and excited. Many of them were trolls, who Richardson said he had to block on social media.
"All I’ve done is block them, anybody that’s doubting or being negative. At the end of the day we’re a country and we should be getting behind our team. And England expects every fan to do his duty."
And if England doesn't win the World Cup? Richardson won't entertain it, jumping in mid-question to say "when" England wins the cup. But even if the team loses, the tattoo is "staying as it is".
"We’re winning anyway, we’re going to win it 100%."
England faces off against Sweden on Saturday in a match that will determine who will advance to the semifinals. And Richardson has some thoughts on their Scandinavian rivals.
"Them Swedish in the next round — they want to stick to IKEA. I want to go to IKEA today where they’re all hanging about down there."
"I’m going to go and buy something, see if I can spot the team lined up in there. Swedish meatballs are off the menu. IKEA’s off the menu. Sweden’s blacklisted until after the next round.”
The Three Lions are three wins away from lifting the World Cup trophy. Should England overcome Sweden, they will face off against the winner of the Russia vs Croatia match in the semi-finals.
Considering the possible outcome is all moot for Richardson. For him, England will take home the trophy no matter who they play. And should that happen, he knows the first thing he'll do: run to his young daughter.
"I’m going to pick my little girl up and I’m going to take her out for some food, and I’m going to tell her that her dad was right, and that your daddy told you England were going to bring the World Cup home this year."