Mike Tindall has revealed how he broke up a fight between two fans during the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium which left both men covered in blood as he slammed the ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unsavoury’ scenes.
The 42-year-old former England rugby player attended the match on Sunday with his wife Zara Tindall, but said he ‘wouldn’t have enjoyed’ being there with their children Mia Grace, seven, Lena, three, and two-month-old Lucas.
Mr Tindall said scenes outside before England v Italy were a ‘disgrace’ as ticketless fans fought stewards and police as they tried to storm the stadium, with an estimated 30 police injured and 53 people arrested.
Uefa has begun a probe into the violence that could see the Football Association face huge fines, while it has also listed four other charges over the booing of the Italian national anthem, a pitch invasion, missiles and fireworks.
Today, Mr Tindall told The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast: ‘A guy was there the whole time, smashed out of his face, literally didn’t watch any of the game anyway, he was just too busy shouting at supporters that they should be standing on their feet, ends up getting into a fight with another one that’s straight behind my seat.
‘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.
Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall, pictured at Wimbledon on July 7, attended the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday
Mr Tindall tweeted about the game on Sunday night and posted three photographs, saying he was ‘very proud’ of the team
Hundreds of ticketless yobs stormed into Wembley Stadium for Sunday’s final against Italy which led to disturbing scenes
How Wembley Stadium was stormed: Ticketless fans rushed barriers, scaled stairs and barged gates into the ground
‘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.’
He said Wembley Way was a ‘disgrace’, adding: ‘The amount of just s***, litter, people who just generally didn’t seem to care about anything. It’s a small minority, but it’s unfortunately the minority that you only remember.’
England star’s father was a victim of Wembley mob
The father of England’s Harry Maguire was left with suspected broken ribs and struggling to breathe after being caught in a stampede of fans at the final at Wembley.
Alan Maguire – a 56-year-old accountant – was pinned to the floor as a mob burst through a disabled entrance and battered their way past innocent supporters. Maguire, 28, told The Sun: ‘It was not a nice experience — it shook him up.’
The Football Association is facing huge fines following the ugly scenes at Sunday’s final.
Harry Maguire (right) is pictured with his father Alan (left)
Mr Tindall told how trying to get into Wembley itself before kick off at 8pm ‘took forever’ because some fans had taken photographs of tickets on their phone and were trying to get through with these.
He continued: ‘Some people with actual tickets couldn’t get through because their mate had obviously taken a photo of it and had used it to get through and you can only get through once, so people were then trying to get double people through the turnstiles.
‘The stewards can’t do anything, it was just something I’ve never witnessed before. And then all the people without tickets were just standing in the stairways, stewards were telling them to sit down, they don’t give a s*** because the stewards can’t do anything to them.’
‘I was just like you know these kids, what are they learning about going to a live football game? I was trying to put some balance on it but there wasn’t balance, it was just… And then going out and seeing the amount of smashed bottles on the way out, you could feel people being nervous walking out of there.
‘We all knew that if England won, it would be the best night ever, if they lost, it’s like board up your shops. Why do we have to have that mentality? It’s just absolutely ridiculous and it was an unsavoury environment to be in, and as I say, I wouldn’t have enjoyed being there if I had had my kids there.’
He added: ‘The problem is, for the first time ever, you look at a real gathering around the team, Gareth Southgate and everything they’ve done over their journey of the Euros and the build-up to the Euros, and you’ve got the media actually speaking highly about them and what they’re doing not only on the pitch but what the likes of Marcus Rashford is doing off the pitch.
‘And you feel that you’re on this journey, and then you just walk where a small minority of people who are the ones who just kicked down the barriers and just total direct because they want to be in there – I know everyone wants to be in there, but that’s the nature of the beast, that’s why you put on fan zones and celebrate it in that way.
‘But I feel it undermines what that England team has done, and that’s the biggest shame for me, is I think that they’ve really galvanised the country after a really bad period and in one night it feels like it’s somewhat broken.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are driven away from Wembley after Sunday night’s match
Shoving in: A mass of England supporters outside the stadium push at the barriers before kick-off on Sunday night
A group of football fans storm through the security barriers at Wembley as stewards desperately try to hold them back
Breakthrough: With no police in sight, stewards try in vain to force them back but scores barge their way in
The FA now faces huge fines and the prospect of the England national team playing some home matches behind closed doors following the chaos on Sunday.
Its chief executive, Mark Bullingham, said a full review would take place into what had happened, accusing ‘drunken yobs’ of trying to force their way into the stadium without tickets.
The association has already been fined £26,500 over three incidents during England’s semi-final victory over Denmark, including a laser pointer shone onto goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s face.
It comes as two men were arrested after a British Transport Police officer was hospitalised by a thug wearing an England shirt while helping a tube passenger moments after the final.
The officer was helping a man who had fallen down an escalator get to his feet when his attackers punched him around the head, leaving him with a fractured face.
Stampede of the mob: Barriers are breached allowing some fans without tickets to race into Wembley
Football fans storm through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England’s nail-biting fight against Italy
Watching aghast: A fan draped in England flag looks on as supporters with tickets brawl with the invaders
Thousands of England fans cheer on their team outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match
A BTP spokesman said two men, both aged 22, from Wolverhampton had been arrested yesterday evening on suspicion of grievous bodily harm over the attack in Camden, North London.
Sunday’s official attendance was about 67,000 in the 90,000-seater stadium, with many seats intended to be left empty to distance fans due to Covid protocols.
But videos circulated on social media showed groups of ticketless supporters breaching one of the stadium’s gates and running into the ground after fighting past barriers, stewards and police officers.
Scotland Yard said 19 of its officers were injured as they fought desperately to keep disorder among the drunken fans determined to break into the ground.
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said they had suffered broken noses, fingers and ribs, and that it was more likely that up to 40 officers had been injured the chaos.
Fists fly: Ticketless fans got into altercations with others as they barged into the stadium
One of the four Uefa charges against England relates to the invasion of the pitch by a spectator during the game
A general view inside Wembley Stadium on Sunday night as players of England applaud the fans following the match
Among them was an officer who was photographed during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in the capital bleeding from the head after being hit with a projectile, he added.
‘It is impossible to say how many people managed to breach the gates and get inside the ground without a ticket, but I would say it was a couple of thousand – all without terror checks or Covid tests,’ Mr Marsh said.
‘My colleagues did what they had to do and what they always do – they went towards the danger and ended up taking a bashing.
‘It is despicable that there is this thuggish element in our society that thinks this sort of behaviour is acceptable.
‘The Met’s official number for those injured is 19, but that only counts the ones to have filled out their injury forms – it will likely be closer to 40. We were the walking wounded.’
UEFA has launched disciplinary action against the FA for the conduct of England fans at Wembley on Sunday
England fans flocked to Wembley in their thousands to be part of one of the biggest nights in English football history
Police officers form a line in front of the Wembley Stadium on Sunday night as thousands of fans descend upon the scene
An FA source said it had planned security for the final with the Metropolitan Police as part of the Security Advisory Committee. ‘In fact we put on more security than we were initially advised for the event,’ they added.
‘It was the most stewards we have ever had for an event at the stadium, far more than for a boxing match or an Adele concert. It was real civil unrest outside the ground.’
Uefa said in a statement: ‘In accordance with Article 31(4) DR, a UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation into events involving supporters which occurred inside and around the stadium.’
The case will be dealt with by the governing body’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body in due course.