Friday, June 4
"Peter, do you know any nice bars where we can get a decent bite to eat and there is a nice mixed crowd?"
Ten minutes later our taxi driver pulls up outside Sunrise, in the edgier end of the Rustenburg suburb.
As we jump out of the car, and the freezing cold Joburg air hits us, we spot a lone white guy, aged around 50 and wearing an England shirt, stumbling around the car park. Maybe I am imagining him.
The pub isn't quite what we had expected. We are the only whites in it and, initially, it looks a bit on the rough side.
Sure enough though it is a great little find with the pre-requisites of good food and beer and a mixed crowd all satisfied. It is easy to see why they call this the 'rainbow nation' - the friendly crowd includes Nigerians, Indians, south Asians...and one very drunk English bloke.
'Blackburn', as he likes to be called, arrived on thursday and is staying in a guest house over the road from the pub.
"It's a bit wild 'ere, ain't it?" he comments in a broad, working class Blackburn accent.
"Are you from Clitheroe?" I ask him, remembering a good friend I used to know from the Ribble Valley.
"No, but I was in prison there."
It turns out that Blackburn, aged 49, is at his sixth World Cup. He is very, very drunk and keeps kissing Bjorn on his bold head every time the topic turns to him having cycled to South Africa from Norway.
"You must be f###ing mad," he slurs. "That is f###ing amazing. I love you."
Blackburn passionately recalls his favourite World Cup, Mexico '86, and brushes off the news that England captain, Rio Ferdinand is out of the World Cup:
"He's f###ing crap anyway."
Blackburn is good value. He is the very first England fan we have come across since arriving in South Africa, and for that he deserves my recognition.
As the draught Castle slips down and increasingly-poor-games- of-pool are played, Blackburn suddenly tells us:
"Sorry, I'm a bit drunk cos me sister got shot in Cumbria."
"Yeah, she got shot by that mad f### in Cumbria. The bloke who killed all those people....she'll be OK, like, but it's sick cos all my mates were taking bets and joking on how long it'd be before I got shot in Johannesburg. It's f###ing terrible. I hope she'll be OK."
Bloody hell, it's a small world. Let's hope Blackburn is right and his sister makes a speedy recovery from her shocking ordeal.
And let's hope we see more of Blackburn in the coming weeks. The World Cup wouldn't be the same without colourful characters like him.