Euro 2024: I watched England fans hit the town after Denmark draw – one thing shocked me | World | News by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 16 min read

A day that began with England fans leaping in fountains ended with them slipping into brothels and doing cocaine in the street.

Unlike the opening game in Gelsenkirchen versus Serbia, there was no nasty pregame punch-up to spoil the party atmosphere; Gareth Southgate’s team was on hand to do that.

Significantly more supporters had followed the Three Lions to West Germany for the second game as excitement in the Euro 2024 continues to build. 

The night before England took to the field against Denmark was feisty with three arrests, fans scrapping amongst each other and songs about Tommy Robinson.

But with effective policing from the Germans, there was rarely the feeling that the situation might boil over into disorder. Fans might have woke up on game day with hangovers but they were soon lifted by sunshine and excitement for the game. 

However, a flat lifeless display by Gareth Southgate’s men was soon generating groans from the thousands of England fans who’d packed into Frankfurt’s picturesque Fan Park overlooking the River Main. 

By the midpoint of the second half were talking amongst themselves and as the final whistle sounded there was only a quick boo before the crowds flooded out to drown their sorrows. 

A heavy police presence greeted the masses as they made their way back into the city centre and an officer I spoke to explained they had been prepared for things to get nasty.

However, the majority of England fans sloped off home rather than engage in the type of disorder which has occured after similiarly flat displays in years gone past.

Fighting was at a minimum, but, predictably, still happened. I saw a man in wearing a Serbia shirt singled out by shaved-headed England fan for brutal headbutt, which was definitely the most shocking sight of the night.

Even stood a good 10 yards away I heard his forehead make contact with the Serb’s nose which exploded with blood.

The response, as it has been since I arrived in Germany, was the same; the police rushed in and separated the pair but ultimately let the England fan run off with his mates.

Dropping his flag to the ground the Serb wiped the blood on his arm as a female officer reassured him. “We’ll call you an ambulance” she said, placing her arm lightly on his back.

Savage headbutts aside, the atmosphere amongst the hundred or so England fans who’d gathered on the corner of Paulsplatz was good-spirited.

The team might look like it’s heading home early but these supporters certainly weren’t going to.

Flinging their arms aloft there were renditions of 90s classics like Wonderwall and Angels, although their favourite refrain was the song of the tournament so far; a reworked version of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark with the tweaked lines “Phil Foden’s on fire and he’s playing the Germans off the park.”

For those wanting to distract themselves from the football the sleazy centre of Frankfurt had many options.

Day or night anyone who walks down to Paulplatz from the main train station is likely to be offered and see vulnerable users slumped in the street.

Every day I’ve seen addicts stick syringes in their legs, puff on crack pipes or just lie their comotose.

England fans have also clearly been taking advantage of this market. One Three Lions supporter approached me asking to buy cocaine in Paulsplatz the previous evening and postgame against Denmark I saw a young lad in an England shirt snort a bump of white powder from the base of his thumb.

In the city’s red light district, brothels and strip clubs had rows of men in replica shirts filing inside for some action.

Two young Englishmen leaned against a bicycle rack as they waited for a friend to return from a visit to one such establishment. He walked out, face bathed in red light, and told them “she wanted an extra €20,” with an embarrassed laugh.

A bouncer at another venue said the trade had been steady from both sides: “We’ve had a lot of England fans in, but also Denmark, everyone is coming,” he said.

For those not indulging in sex or drugs there was also gambling. Bookmakers with slot machines were bursting at the seams. I saw drunken supporters slumped in chairs betting away their sorrows.

They’ll be a lot of sore heads and regrets amongst the England fans in Frankfurt today. But that should probably be seen as a more favourable outcome over there being a wrecked city centre and fracas with police. 

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