Harry Maguire has revealed how his father was left with suspected broken ribs following the terrifying scenes of ticketless England supporters breaking into Wembley on Sunday.
Thousands of fans stormed the stadium desperate to see England take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final, in the hope of seeing Gareth Southgate’s side win their first major trophy for 55 years.
But the unruly scenes led to the Three Lions centre-back’s father Alan getting caught up in the chaos within the stadium after the ground’s security was breached.
The 56-year-old accountant was pinned to the floor, suffering two suspected broken ribs, after supporters who had broken into the stadium through a disabled entrance, barged through anyone standing in their way.
As well as the Manchester United star’s agent Kenneth Shepherd, he was crushed underfoot as he tried to make his way to his seat in the players’ families area to the left of the tunnel where the players make their way out onto the pitch.
Harry Maguire admits he was left scared after his father was caught up in the chaos at Wembley before the game after the stadium was gatecrashed by ticketless supporters
Maguire’s father Alan (left) was an innocent supporter caught up in the terrifying scenes inside the national stadium as he hoped to see his son play in the Euro 2020 final
Maguire admits he and his father were left shocked by the incident and that he was thankful his children were not in attendance at the game.
‘It was not a nice experience – it shook him up,’ he told the Sun. ‘But he was fortunate as every game he has been to he has had my nephew or one of my kids on his shoulders.
‘My dad was in the stampede. I have not spoken with him too much but I am pleased my kids didn’t go to the game.
‘So I’m thankful that did not happen as it could have been a really serious moment.’
Despite being left in extreme pain from the incident, Maguire’s father did not seek medical treatment, not wanting to risk missing out on seeing potentially the biggest game of his son’s life.
Maguire started in England’s 1-1 draw with Italy, but despite netting a stunning penalty in the resulting shootout, the 28-year-old defender failed to prevent his side slipping to a 3-2 loss on spot-kicks.
‘It was scary – he said he was scared and I don’t want anyone to experience that at a football match,’ Maguire added.
‘He was struggling with his breathing afterwards because of his ribs, but he’s not one to make a big fuss.’
Maguire later posted a picture after the match on Twitter, with him alongside his family back home following the defeat, with a caption thanking fans for their support: ‘Great to be back home with my friends and family thanks for your support as always.’, he said.
UEFA have since charged the FA over the chaos that marred what should have been a memorable night for the national team.
European football’s governing body charged the FA with four offences relating to supporters’ behaviour – and an inspector will also conduct a separate investigation into the major security breaches before the match on Sunday, which is likely to lead to further charges.
Maguire’s family including Alan (right) pose for a photograph earlier in the tournament
Shameless supporters broke through security to storm Wembley Stadium before the game
A UEFA statement said: ‘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 Italy national anthem was met by a chorus of boos, in a charge also brought against the FA following the semi-final against Denmark when their national anthem was met by ‘disturbance’.
An estimated 5,000 ticketless hooligans gained entry to the stadium for Sunday’s match before it kicked off at 8pm, forcing their way through broken gates and terraces which led to ugly scenes on the concourses.
The UEFA statement comes after it was claimed that the capacity – meant to be set at 60,000 – was actually 5,000 over that figure on Sunday. However, that number could easily increase once a full investigation is completed.
People were still able to gain access to the stadium through broken gates and turnstiles whilst the game was still being played in extra-time too, it is also being claimed.
More violent scenes in London’s Leicester Square as well as Wembley before and after the penalty shoot-out defeat will also have damaged the nation’s chances of hosting the 2030 World Cup.
It is claimed that 5,000 ticketless yobs stormed into Wembley for Sunday’s final against Italy
Shoving in: A mass of England supporters throng outside stadium and push at the barriers
Four UEFA charges against the FA
The English Football Association has been charged by UEFA over the conduct of England supporters at the Euro 2020 final. The charges relate to invasion of the pitch, throwing of objects, disturbance during the national anthem and lighting of a firework. They are:
- Invasion of the field of play by its supporters – Article 16(2)(a) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR)
- Throwing of objects by its supporters – Article 16(2)(b) DR
- Disturbance caused by its supporters during the national anthem – Article 16(2)(g) DR
- Lighting of a firework by its supporters – Article 16(2)(c) DR
Police made 86 arrests on Sunday, including 53 at Wembley, for a number of offences including public order offences, ABH, drunk and disorderly and criminal damage. A total of 19 officers received injuries.
On Monday, the FA said it would conduct a full review into how people without tickets were able to breach security and gain access to Wembley for the final.
A stadium spokesman said during the match on Sunday that a ‘small number’ of people had got into the stadium and that security staff and stewards were working to remove them.
However, there have been reports of some ticketless people being inside the stadium for the whole match, and of genuine ticket-holders being afraid to confront people occupying their seats.
The security operation around the match has been widely criticised, and FA chief executive Mark Bullingham told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme on Monday: ‘We will do a full review and we will work with the police to catch anyone involved and make sure we can prevent it ever happening again.
‘Anyone caught will obviously be banned and have the right action taken against them.’
The FA said the review would be conducted alongside the police, the Greater London Authority, the Safety Advisory Group and tournament stakeholders.
A group of football fans storm through the security barriers at Wembley as stewards desperately try to hold them back
Football fans storm through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England’s nail-biting fight against Italy
The governing body defended the level of stewarding and security in place for the match, saying it ‘exceeded the requirements for the match’ and was ‘greater than any other previous event at Wembley Stadium’.
A spokesman added: ‘The behaviour of the people who illegally forced their way into the stadium was unacceptable, dangerous and showed total disregard for the safety and security protocols in place.
‘No steward or security staff should be subjected to this type of behaviour and we thank them for their support on the night.’
Mr Bullingham said some ‘drunken yobs’ had tried to force their way in, and added: ‘We run a stadium, not a fortress. We have got a fantastic security team at the stadium and they had never seen anything like it.’
He apologised to any supporter whose experience had been affected as a result of the security breach.
Videos were posted on social media of people being attacked within the stadium concourses, while away from the stadium there was also disorder in other areas of London.
The Metropolitan Police said there had been 53 arrests connected to the match for a variety of offences. The force also reported 19 officers had been injured as they confronted ‘volatile’ crowds.
It came as England fans flocked to Wembley in their thousands to be part of one of the biggest nights in English football history
Police form a line in front of the Wembley as thousands of fans descend upon the scene
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: ‘We spent a lot of time encouraging and asking people not to turn up if they hadn’t got a ticket prior to the event, and clearly a lot of people chose to ignore us.
‘I don’t think anybody was expecting large numbers of people to try and incur into the stadium.
‘As soon as it became clear that was happening, stewards reacted very quickly and police were deployed to the stadium to prevent the situation from becoming worse.’
Mr Taylor revealed a ‘considerable number’ of fans got into Wembley, although he was not able to estimate how many.
He said: ‘As part of our post-event investigation, we will be looking into all criminality and we will be looking to bring offenders of any crime to justice – that may include football banning orders as well as criminal justice prosecutions.’