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THE AGE: Boxing Day Test crowds go the full English despite dead rubber

Loud outfits, novelty hats, fresh cut mullets and a worrying number of Merv Hughes-inspired handlebar moustaches were out in force on day one of the Boxing Day Test.

Despite having already lost the Ashes to Australia, the English were out in force – many in dress-ups.

The dead rubber didn't deter Englishman Ollie Geffen​, who was dressed as a bottle of ketchup.

Together with his friends — in costume as a fried egg, bacon, beans and mushroom — they made up a full English breakfast.

"Arrived from London Christmas Eve, smashed up Christmas, and now we're here," Mr Geffen said.

"Because we have already lost, there is nothing to lose. Anything would be better than what has already come."

His compatriot Alex Stead also dressed in tribute to the mother country.

"I am dressed as a lion, obviously the British lion," he said. He was dressed in leggings and wearing a toy lion's tale and lion ears on a headband.

"I came to the 'G to watch the first Test," he said. "I am really excited but also a bit upset because we have lost the Ashes already.

"We are playing for pride now, so we have got to come out in our numbers and try and pull something back from Australia."

"It's been a wonderful day, apart from the cricket," said Sam Knox, also from the UK. His fellow traveller Will Murrills agreed: "We thought there would be better cricket, but we are making fun of it nonetheless."

"Great vibe, great atmosphere" Christa McNally said from underneath her oversized green and gold sombrero. The Californian native and Melbourne resident was playing host to friends visiting from the US and experiencing their first Test match together.

Brisbane resident Stacey Pattern was just thrilled to be at the MCG. "I got up at 2am this morning to fly down just for the game," she said. "It has been on my bucket list." Annabel Phillips was working but convinced she had the best deal going. "I love the cricket and since I am working in a corporate box I get a really great view", the Melbourne resident said.

The blue sky and sunshine was not lost on Bill Hocking. "It's bloody hot,"the Melbourne man said. Mr Hocking was visiting the MCG for just the second time: "I brought my son to the MCG for his birthday, it's a great day for Australia," he said.

First published in The Age

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