News, Culture & Society

Fans BREAK IN to Wembley amid chaotic scenes

Football fans have stormed through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England’s nail-biting fight against Italy for the Euro 2020 Championship. 

Dozens of fans were filmed trampling down the security cordon before running into the Club Wembley entrance as stewards and riot police desperately chased after them ahead of the national side’s biggest game for more than half a century.

The scenes come as an estimated 35 million people tune in to watch the once-in-a-generation clash on TV while 60,000 spectators cheer on Gareth Southgate’s men later today.  

A Wembley Stadium spokesman said: ‘We are dealing with an incident that occurred at the outer security perimeter area of the stadium, with support from police. 

‘Safety measures were quickly activated… there were no security breaches of people without tickets getting inside the stadium.’ 

It is unclear whether any of the supporters who breached security had tickets to the game. 

Football fans stormed through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England’s nail-biting fight against Italy

A group of football fans stormed through the security barriers at Wembley as stewards desperately tried to hold them back

A group of football fans stormed through the security barriers at Wembley as stewards desperately tried to hold them back

Fans stormed through the barriers

Fans push through security

Dozens of football fans were spotted pushing through the security barriers outside the stadium earlier today

Thousands of England fans cheer on their team outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

Thousands of England fans cheer on their team outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

It came as England fans flocked to Wembley in their thousands to be part of one of the biggest nights in English football history

It came as England fans flocked to Wembley in their thousands to be part of one of the biggest nights in English football history

As the nation geared up for the highly-anticipated game, footage showed a massive surge of fans crushing their way through security barriers at Wembley and then running away from stewards as scenes descended into chaos.   

It came as England fans flocked to Wembley in their thousands to be part of one of the biggest nights in English football history.  

Earlier today England fans were sent into a frenzy as they clambered onto buses outside Wembley, packed out pubs and set off flares in King’s Cross and Leicester Square before the Three Lions fight Italy for the Euro 2020 Championship. 

In Piccadilly Circus, one fan was spotted leaping from the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain into a crowd of excited supporters and outside the Wembley Stadium others were spotted climbing onto traffic lights and poles.

Meanwhile drunken supporters thronged other parts of the capital, gathering en masse in Leicester Square and at several major railway stations, to revel in one of Britain’s biggest sporting occasions in decades. 

But there were chaotic scenes there too, with British Transport Police – which patrols the country’s rail network – reporting ‘multiple cases’ of flares being set off inside London stations.

‘We’re working with train operators to ensure the continuation of services & to ensure everyone can travel safely,’ the force said, adding: ‘these incidents are offences & will be investigated’.

As the chaos ensued, London’s Metropolitan Police and Mayor Sadiq Khan were forced to take to Twitter to urge fans not to travel to Wembley without match tickets, with the force noting officers were ‘on hand engaging with crowds and to keep people safe’.  

Crowds of fans were seen pushing through security an running into the Club Wembley entrance

Crowds of fans were seen pushing through security an running into the Club Wembley entrance

Today, crowds of fans draped in England flags arrived outside Wembley, the Home of Football, several hours before kick-off. Some even climbed on top of a bus outside the grounds, while others outside King’s Cross station in the capital let off red and white smoke during the celebratory build-up. 

Although tickets quickly sold out, a category A seat became available at 2pm for around £810, and was snapped up almost immediately. MailOnline previously found tickets selling for tens of thousands of pounds on so-called ‘touting’ websites the day after the semi-final against Denmark. 

Ahead of the game, the Metropolitan Police urged fans not to come to London unless they have match tickets or somewhere booked to watch the game. 

The force said it will be deploying ‘a great many officers and specialist units to prevent crime and disorder and respond to any incidents right across London’.  

The British Beer & Pub Association predicts England fans will buy 7.1 million pints as they watch England’s first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup. By the end of the competition it is estimated that £815million will have been spent in pubs and hospitality venues, with 32.6 million pints sold, according to a report by Vouchercodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.

Ahead of the match, The Queen, Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent the team best wishes, while thousands of England supporters urge the side to ‘bring it home’ – with some fans partying last night while others admitted they didn’t sleep because they were so excited. 

A man jumps from the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

A man jumps from the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

Hundreds of fans, some of whom were seen letting off flares,  arrive to Piccadilly Circus ahead of the match at Wembley today

Hundreds of fans, some of whom were seen letting off flares,  arrive to Piccadilly Circus ahead of the match at Wembley today

England supporters at Wembley clamber onto a bus ahead of the Three Lions' historic Euros clash against Italy tonight

England supporters at Wembley clamber onto a bus ahead of the Three Lions’ historic Euros clash against Italy tonight 

A man throws an object as football fans gather in Leicester Square ahead of England's Euros final against Italy

A man throws an object as football fans gather in Leicester Square ahead of England’s Euros final against Italy

England fan climb onto a pole as they arrive outside the Wembley Stadium in London and gear up for the Euro final

England fan climb onto a pole as they arrive outside the Wembley Stadium in London and gear up for the Euro final

One England fan stands on a traffic light as he joins hundreds of supporters at Piccadilly Circus in London ahead of the game

One England fan stands on a traffic light as he joins hundreds of supporters at Piccadilly Circus in London ahead of the game

England fans gather in Trafalgar Square ahead of the match, while one supporter dressed as a knight climbs a traffic light

England fans gather in Trafalgar Square ahead of the match, while one supporter dressed as a knight climbs a traffic light

In a video message on the official England football Twitter account, Southgate – who has been praised for his leadership of the team – said the fans’ support has given them a ‘huge lift’.

He said: ‘We hope that you’ve enjoyed watching us play. I’m very grateful to all of the players and the incredible staff I’ve got with me, that we’ve been able to get to our first final for 55 years. But of course we know now we’ve got to deliver for you, so we’ll be doing everything we can. 

‘Your support and energy has given us a huge lift, and I know it will on Sunday.’

The Duke of Cambridge praised manager Southgate, captain Harry Kane and ‘every member of the England team on and off the pitch’ in a video message on his official Twitter account, as he said: ‘I can’t really believe this is happening’ and wished the squad ‘the very best of luck’. 

In a video message on the official England football Twitter account, Southgate – who has been praised for his leadership of the team – said the fans’ support has given them a ‘huge lift’.

He said: ‘We hope that you’ve enjoyed watching us play. I’m very grateful to all of the players and the incredible staff I’ve got with me, that we’ve been able to get to our first final for 55 years. But of course we know now we’ve got to deliver for you, so we’ll be doing everything we can. 

‘Your support and energy has given us a huge lift, and I know it will on Sunday.’

The Duke of Cambridge praised manager Southgate, captain Harry Kane and ‘every member of the England team on and off the pitch’ in a video message on his official Twitter account, as he said: ‘I can’t really believe this is happening’ and wished the squad ‘the very best of luck’.   

William, the President of the FA, said: ‘Gareth, Harry and to every member of the England team on and off the pitch, just want to wish you the very best of luck tonight. What a team performance it’s been, everyone in the squad has played their part. All the backroom team as well have been truly essentially. 

‘I can’t really believe this is happening. So exciting and I just wish you the very best of luck. You bring out the very best of England and we are all behind you. The whole country is behind you. So, bring it home.’ 

England captain Harry Kane said his team hopes to do the nation proud in their bid for Euro 2020 glory. He told reporters at a press conference last night: ‘We want to go and bring the trophy home’ – adding: ‘We know how much it means to the English fans all over the country so we’re proud to be representing them and hopefully we can do them proud again.’

The Queen paid tribute to the ‘spirit, commitment and pride’ of the squad in a good luck message ahead of tonight’s final, while her grandson the Duke of Cambridge said it is ‘so exciting’ to get to this point.   

The Prime Minister told Southgate and the players they had ‘already made history’ by reaching the final, writing: ‘You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift that trophy too. We are not just hoping or praying. 

‘We believe in you, Gareth, and your incredible squad.’       

A number of schools have already said they will allow pupils to start later on Monday if they wish to and some employers are considering letting staff enjoy a celebratory – or consolatory – lie-in after what could be a very late night. 

The final is due to kick off at 8pm and will finish by 10pm if it ends in normal time, but could end closer to 11pm if there is extra time or a penalty shootout. 

The official England Twitter account posted this morning: ‘A matchday like no other’ – sparking a flurry of excited and anxious messages. One expectant fan wrote: ‘Massive day ahead, first final for @England in my lifetime. Wherever you’re watching it, whatever your plans are, enjoy! Proud of the squad and what they’ve done so far, but they can lift that trophy!’ 

England fans on top of a bus on Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros clash against Italy

England fans on top of a bus on Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros clash against Italy 

England football fans in London's West End ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley

England football fans in London’s West End ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley

England fans let off flares down Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros final

England fans let off flares down Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros final

England fans let off flares down Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros final

England fans let off flares down Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros final

England fans with flares gather on Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros clash tonight

England fans with flares gather on Wembley Way outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euros clash tonight

England supporters clamber onto a bus in Wembley Stadium and set off flares ahead of the Euros final

England supporters clamber onto a bus in Wembley Stadium and set off flares ahead of the Euros final

England fans stand on buses outside the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final at the Wembley Stadium today

England fans stand on buses outside the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final at the Wembley Stadium today

England fans outside the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium

England fans outside the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium

The atmosphere near the official fan zone in Trafalgar Square is lively ahead of the Euro 2020 final, with pubs packed and large crowds holding England flags and wearing shirts with Three Lions on the chest.

Fans without tickets for the fan zone are also gathered in the area, and some can be heard chanting and singing the national anthem.

Scots moan about being forced to watched ‘unbearable’ Euros coverage through ‘an entirely English lens’ – as sales of Italian flags and shirts soar amid calls for a Bank Holiday if ITALY win 

Sales of Italian flags and shirts are soaring in Scotland ahead of the Euro 2020 final tonight – amid tongue-in-cheek calls for a bank holiday if England lose the match and complaints of coverage of the tournament through an ‘English lens’.

While chants of ‘It’s Coming Home’ have returned in full fervour to the streets in hopes of a long-awaited big win, there is somewhat less excitement north of the border.

Millions of England fans will be wearing red and white shirts in living rooms and pubs across the country, with 60,000 supporters set to cheer on Gareth Southgate’s men at Wembley Stadium.

The Queen, Prince William and Boris Johnson have all praised the Three Lions ahead of the side’s first major final since the 1966 World Cup final tonight.

But The Scotsman reports that sales for Italian shirts and flags have soared in Scotland ahead of tonight’s finale, claiming it is related somewhat to Scotland’s ‘deep and rich history with Italy’, and not simply ‘clear Scottish distaste of It’s Coming Home’.

Neil James, 32, from Horsham, Surrey, said: ‘I’m so fortunate to be here, I never thought I’d see anything like this in my lifetime. I can’t even comprehend the idea England could win something, I just want to drink and drink tonight, work tomorrow is on the back burner.

‘It’s all about tonight.’

England supporters in Trafalgar Square said ‘history can be made’. Ross Belton, 22, from Crawley, said: ‘This is by far one of the biggest sporting days in my lifetime, I can’t think of anything that really comes close.

‘If I ever get married it’ll have to be a pretty special service to top the feeling I have right now!’

Another, named Paul, 42, an electrician from Camden, north London, said: ‘History can be made tonight, everyone has to make the most of it because we may never see it again. It’s like Christmas, if Christmas came around every 55 years, live in the moment and celebrate like mad if we win.’

One supporter said the country ‘needed’ an international tournament win. Paul Gunder, 44, from Basingstoke, said: ‘I’ve heard all the usual stories from my dad and grandad about England winning a major tournament in 1966.

‘Obviously as years go by you begin to think it’s never happening, but suddenly here we are, in a final.

‘I know some Italians and work with them, but today is our day, we’ve needed this as a country, the last year or so has been rough. I think we’ll win it by a goal.’

Friends Ellie Bass and Aimee McIntosh had gathered in the West End to savour the big game atmosphere.

Ellie , 21, from Portsmouth, said: ‘Im hoping for an England win. My mum has predicted 3-2 to England. She’s got a bit of a sixth sense and has been right about these things before and so I hope she is about this too.

‘I think it’s going to be a great game but my nerves are going to be shredded.’

Aimee, 25, from Streatham, South London, said: ‘I’m feeling very nervous but quietly confident, I think this has to be our time. England have exceeded all our expectations but they have to go one stage further and bring it home.

‘We’re going to watch it in a pub in Paddington but wanted to take in the atmosphere in the West End, it’s electric. We want to come back here afterwards – hopefully to celebrate.’

Matt Green, 21, travelled into London from his home in Hull especially to soak up the atmosphere as fans head to Wembley. He said: ‘It’s been brilliant, every where you look it’s England. People have got the St George’s flag and are having a ball – let’s hope it lasts.

‘I think England have got better the more they’ve gone through the tournament and think we’ll beat Italy 2-0. But they’re a good team and it’s going to be very difficult. To see England in the final is incredible- they just have to go and win it now!’

Drinking at the Leicester Arms in Soho, Rob Powell, 48, travelled from his home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire to watch the big game. He said: ‘There isn’t any where else I’d rather watch it, London is the centre of the footballing world today.

‘Everywhere you look, people have a football shirt on or are draped in the flag and the pubs are heaving. 

‘I don’t want to tempt fate by predicting a score but they’ll have to be at their best to beat Italy. But they’ve showed a lot of resilience so far and there’s no reason why they can’t win our first bit of silverware since ’66.’

Across England, fans have been savouring the run-up to a game that could see the country crowned champions of Europe. Houses have been bedecked with flags amid a surge in demand for England-themed paraphernalia and the Shard in London was lit up in the team colours.

Residents on Wales Street, in Oldham, Greater Manchester have even patriotically renamed their road in honour of the Three Lions – England Street, with a new red-and-white sign erected above the original. 

A good luck message from David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds – who are behind the anthem Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) – has been projected onto the white cliffs of Dover ahead of the match. 

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham insists England’s ‘band of brothers’ remain calm ahead of the final.

‘The mood in the camp is very calm. They are aware of what a fantastic opportunity this is, they are aware of the excitement throughout the country, but the mood in the camp is calm and they are looking forward to it,’ Bullingham told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One.

England fans pose for photos over pints of beer at BOXPARK Wembley ahead of tonight's Euro 2020 clash against Italy

England fans pose for photos over pints of beer at BOXPARK Wembley ahead of tonight’s Euro 2020 clash against Italy 

A group of England fans sporting red and white and holding banners and flags pose for photos at BOXPARK Wembley

A group of England fans sporting red and white and holding banners and flags pose for photos at BOXPARK Wembley

England fans pose for photos over pints of beer at BOXPARK Wembley ahead of tonight's Euro 2020 clash against Italy

England fans pose for photos over pints of beer at BOXPARK Wembley ahead of tonight’s Euro 2020 clash against Italy

England fans queuing outside the The Faltering Fullback pub in Finsbury Park, London

England fans queuing outside the The Faltering Fullback pub in Finsbury Park, London

England fans at BOXPARK Wembley, where England will play Italy in the Euro 2020 final

England fans at BOXPARK Wembley, where England will play Italy in the Euro 2020 final

‘I think one of the things that Gareth (Southgate) has managed to do, along with the support team, is build a really strong environment, there’s a fantastic ‘band of brothers’ feeling and togetherness, but there is also a really strong resilience there and they are really supportive of each other.

‘He (Southgate) is genuinely calm, he’s one of the calmest people in the country. He is so well prepared and he has a good support team around him. He is in a good place.’ 

Former England right-back Gary Neville, who along with Southgate experienced semi-final heartbreak as a player at Euro 96, stressed that today was ‘not a day to be nervous’.

Discussing how the players would be feeling on Sunday morning compared to his own experiences with the national team, Neville told Sky Sports News: ‘If you think about 1996 and Gareth’s abuse he received after missing that penalty, (David) Beckham in ’98 and then my brother (Phil Neville) in 2000, it was a very pressurised situation with England because you weren’t performing at a level and there was a different way in which they approached it from a media point as well.

‘These lads haven’t got that cynicism, they haven’t got that pain and dismay embedded within themselves, so I suspect that now they must be feeling on top of the world this morning, excited.

‘I know there are a lot of fans nervous up and down the country but this isn’t a day to be nervous. I don’t feel nervous at all. It’s a moment and a day that this country’s been waiting for such a long time. I think the pressure moment was actually against Scotland or against Germany in the second round. 

‘We’ve gone past those things with this team, so this team have proven they can jump hurdles that none have done before in the last 55 years, and I suspect that they’ll be feeling really comfortable.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk