Burglars targeted the family home of one of England’s Lionesses while they were watching her help the team to victory in their Euro semi-final clash on Tuesday night.
The gang of three would-be robbers attempted to break in to the home belonging to Georgia Stanway’s relatives, thinking it would be empty with her family at the match – that saw England thrash Sweden 4-0.
But according to her father Paul, the opportunists were interrupted by one family member who stayed at home, and fled the home empty-handed.
Paul, 56, took to Instagram to appeal for help in catching the burglars, calling Tuesday a ‘bittersweet’ day having just watched his daughter and her teammates reach the finals of the women’s European Championships.
Burglars targeted the family of England player Georgia Stanway while they were watching her help the team thrash Sweden 4-0 in their Euro semi-final clash on Tuesday night (pictured)
‘While we prepared for the Euros semis we were devastated to learn that our house was targeted by thieves who expected us all to be away,’ he told his followers.
Alongside a picture of a bag with ‘Scumbag’ written on the side, he said: ‘Thankfully they were thwarted by a family member who was unable to travel to the game.’
Georgia’s father then urged other people in Barrow, Cumbria to be on the look-out for potential burglars and to help identify the gang who came to his house.
‘Just a little warning to people. Be careful posting about your movements as there are definitely scum bags in Barrow.
‘Lock your doors, keep an eye on your neighbour’s property, stay safe,’ he urged, adding: ‘Light blue (old) Ford Focus? Any info welcome.’
He also praised the police, calling them ‘fantastic’. He had been at the match at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane with his 48-year-old wife Linzi, who is Georgia’s stepmother.
The gang of three would-be robbers attempted to break into the home belonging to Georgia Stanway’s relatives, thinking it would be empty with her family at the match. But according to her father Paul (pictured right with Georgia, centre), the opportunists were interrupted by one family member who stayed at home, and fled the home empty-handed
According to The Sun, two of the gang stayed in the car while a man in his 20s, reportedly wearing a Workington rugby top and carrying Ikea bags, attempted to get into Paul’s home at around 2:30pm on Tuesday before the big match.
The incident raised concerns that more homes belonging to England’s Lionesses could be targeted while they are away on international duty.
There have been several incidents involving Premier League players in the men’s game who have seen their homes raided while they were away playing, or in some cases threatened by home invaders.
In one recent case, the home of Manchester United’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof was targeted while his wife and two children were at home. He was away playing for his team in Brentford when the intruders entered.
Maja Nilsson Lindelof, who subsequently headed to her native Sweden for support, described the incident as ‘very traumatic and scary’.
These crimes are nothing new but there are concerns that organised gangs have stepped up their activity, waiting for players to be away before targeting them.
Paul, 56, took to Instagram to appeal for help in catching the burglars, calling Tuesday a ‘bittersweet’ day having just watched his daughter (right) and her teammates reach the finals of the women’s European Championships
Some players have turned to private security firms who use former SAS soldiers to provide a ‘presence’ while they are away, the Daily Mail reported earlier this year.
Regular patrols outside homes are also being carried out by external firms and club security staff. ‘It’s not a new issue,’ one official explained. ‘But it is something that has intensified recently.
Georgia, 23, credits Paul and her mother Joanne – who are separated – with ‘sacrificing their lives’ to help her achieve her footballing dreams.
The young star has been one of the stand-out players of the tournament, scoring a late, breath-taking winner against Spain in the quarter-finals to secure England’s place in Tuesday’s semi-final against Sweden.
Born in 1999, she joined the academy at Blackburn Rovers where she stood-out as a energetic, goal-scoring midfielder.
She moved to Manchester City when she was 16, scoring 67 goals in 186, becoming the club’s all-time top goal scorer in the process.
Not long before the Euros began, she secured a move to the German giant Bayern Munich on a three year deal, who she will link up with after the tournament.
Pictured: England’s Lionesses celebrate after beating Sweden 4-0 on Tuesday night
On Wednesday, the BBC announced the official viewing figures for England’s stunning win over Sweden, with 11.3million people watching the victory.
The total TV audience reached 9.3m, while an extra 2m viewers streamed the match through BBC apps, as the emphatic display shot up the viewing charts to become one of the most-watched events on television this year.
And the Lionesses put on a performance deserving of the huge viewership as they blew away one of women’s football’s traditional powerhouses in Sweden in a spectacular 90 minutes.
Goals from Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby stylishly sent the Lionesses through to Sunday’s Wembley final against either France or Germany.
And the best goal of the game came from super-sub Alessia Russo, who somehow managed to backheel the ball through Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl’s legs for England’s third of the night.
The enormous viewing figures continue to prove the growth in support that women’s football has undergone in the UK in recent years, regularly reaching millions.
The Lionesses now have the chance to beat Germany and lift the trophy at Wembley
The viewing figures for the dramatic match trumped the numbers boasted by Eurovision despite a 20% increase 2021, which drew a peak UK audience of 8.9m, and the 3.9m who tuned in for Paul McCartney’s three-hour set at Glastonbury.
And it even drew level with the 11.2m viewers drawn to the televised celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, although that number refers to the average attendance, as opposed to the peak audience estimated at more than 13m.
This is perhaps helped by the fact that much of the Women’s Super League (WSL) is shown on free-to-air TV, making it far more accessible than its male counterpart, the Premier League.
And it is testament to how fair the sport’s popularity has come that England’s last appearance in a major Women’s international final in 2009 was only watched by 1.4m viewers, a figure dwarfed by the support the Lionesses have received this summer.
But as impressive as this growth is, it is still 400,000 short of the record numbers for an England Women’s international, recorded when the Lionesses lost to perennial winners the USA in the semi-finals of the World Cup three years ago.
The FA will be confident that this Sunday’s showpiece finale – against either Germany or France – will not only end in a victory at Wembley for the hosts, but yet another smashed record, too.
The task now that football’s governing body is faced with is to translate the evident support into provision at a grass roots level, in order to help provide young women and girls across the country with a path into a sport with undeniable support.
This tournament has already seen spectator records shattered, after the overall Women’s Euro’s attendance record was smashed whilst the competition was still in the group stages.
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