Football fan Ollie Booth from Lincoln described the moment Euro 2016 fans ran towards him in fear as fights broke out at the England vs Russia match at the weekend.
Many were left injured after a day of violent brawls between European football hooligans on the streets of Marseille on Saturday, June 11.
Ollie, 20, from Hemswell Avenue, Lincoln was at the match when chaos ensued.
He described the events as “horrible”, explaining how women were pushed into nearby pubs to keep safe.
Ollie told The Lincolnite: “It was crazy. I didn’t see anything happen on the Friday but on the Saturday [June 11], before the game, it all kicked off.
“All the English fans got roughed by Russian fans, they [the Russian fans] were throwing bottles at us. When the police turned up there was tear gas everywhere. We were just shocked.
“The security at the football stadium was ridiculous. We had got several emails about potential terrorist attacks, but no one was being searched as we went in.
Lots of people were taking shirts off just to get into the stadium as they were covered in blood and didnt want to get turned away.
“Russian fans took fireworks into the grounds and one of the fireworks went into the England fans’ stand.
“The Russian fans then broke across the barrier and people just couldn’t get away.
“Outside the ground the police were blocking streets off, all the fans started walking together but on the last road towards the grounds all we could see was tear gas canisters being thrown and people running towards us, it was horrible.
There was one instance where I saw a couple of women running inside the pub, and men were pushing women in first to keep them safe.
“We were trying to run away but bottles were being thrown.
“After the match the police closed the Metro down and no one knew what to do, there was a lot of panic and sirens. It was really nerve racking.
“From what I’ve seen it wasnt the England fans at all. All the England fans were there to enjoy the experience.
“We go for the football, not for anything like that. It put a bit of a downer on the whole experience. It was my first experience watching England and it made us worry about our safety.”
The Football Association was warned by UEFA that England, along with Russia, risk being kicked out of the tournament if the scenes were repeated.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the warning from Uefa was being treated with the “utmost seriousness”.
“We understand the potential implications of our supporters’ actions and wholly accept that every effort needs to be made by the FA to positively urge them to act in a responsible and respectful way,” he said in a statement.
“Violent scenes like those witnessed over the weekend in Marseille have no place in football, nor society as a whole.”
Do you know someone who has been caught up in clashes at the Euro 2016 tournament? Get in touch via [email protected] or by calling 01522 837217.