A FOOTBALL-MAD groom admits fate has worked against him as he prepares to get married during England's World Cup quarter-final against Sweden tomorrow.

Duncan Finch and his bride Lauren Ashford will exchange vows at Merriscourt Barn in Chipping Norton as Gareth Southgate's men bid for a first semi-final in 28 years.

The pair are one of eight couples across Oxfordshire marrying during the last eight clash and the Manchester United fan revealed the clash of dates was actually caused by his love of football.

Mr Finch, from Buckinghamshire, said: “We wanted a Cotswold-style wedding and when the 7th came up as a potential date, I have to admit I thought of Beckham and his shirt number.

"I thought it was a good omen.

“But no-one could have guessed that this match would happen on this of all days.”

The couple are confident their family and friends will be focused on events in Chipping Norton rather than Samara, the Russian city where the match is being played.

But ushers have been told to confiscate phones from the 65 guests just in case.

Mr Finch predicts a 2-1 win for England and spent today ensuring the venue would install a big screen TV in a discreet location, so people can check the score during the reception.

Jacquie Bugeja, head of registration for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We wish Duncan and Lauren every happiness for the future and hope their big day tomorrow will be perfect in every way.

"Our registrars across the county will ensure everyone’s special moment is memorable for all the right reasons.”

She joked: “I am sure our team wouldn’t dream of speeding up the exchange of vows and promises so everyone can get on and watch the game…. only if they are asked to do so.”