Former England centre Mike Tindall has given his first-hand account of the ‘tension’ at last Sunday’s Euro 2020 final, when England football fans rushed the gates at Wembley and drunk supporters marred the experience.
Reports have surfaced this week of Ugo Monye stepping in to neutralise abuse of female staff working at the match by drunk fans, and Tindall has now spoken of his own experience in breaking up a fight between two individuals.
“Tensions had got a bit heated near to where Zara (Tindall’s wife) and Mike were sitting because it had got quite crowded,” Tindall said on his The Good, The Bad and the Rugby podcast.
“Two fans ended up in a punch-up and Mike had to step into save the day. He stood between them and pulled them apart before stewards could get them under control.
“It got to a stage where this guy literally was trying to pile this guy in the face, there was a kid next to us, there was a kid on the other side crying because he couldn’t see the game because of all the guys stood in the galley way and I just pulled these guys apart, said to one of them ‘What are you doing? Just what are you doing?’ And you know, he wandered off, blood all over him. The guy on the floor had blood all over him.”
The government has written to the FA demanding an explaination of the ugly scenes that saw police and stewards overwhelmed as makeshift gates were breached.
Monye described how the positive vibes leading up to kick-off were soon clouded by the acts of hundreds of fans.
“I was in the queue just trying to get in. You’re so excited, 55 years, you feel fortunate, 65,000 people there, population of 65 million. It’s a privilege, it should have been a celebration,” he told BBC 5 Live.
“But the top and tail last night was just utterly disgraceful. I was stood in the queue and next to me was a father with his two daughters and we were chatting and they couldn’t be more excited.
“But all of that excitement turned. They were frightened. The two girls were cowering, the dad was trying to do everything to protect them as we saw hooligans, thugs, tearing down barriers and just storming Wembley.
“Chucking bottles at police horses, trying to get past, whatever they could, with no care or appreciation for anyone else.”