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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK

HOOLIGANS: A Panorama Special
DATE: 0:00:00

STEPHEN BARRETT: Germany, 2006: the World Cup Championships. England went there believing they could win the tournament for the first time in 40 years.

FEMALE SUPPORTER; We've got the best team we've had for a long time, so hopefully we'll get in there and we'll win.

BARRETT: For Germany, it was the greatest event since East and West were unified. It also presented an opportunity to bury still raw memories of her Nazi past... but some were intent on spoiling the party.

[scenes of violence and aggression]

ANDY NICHOLLS: ... and when Germany were chose to host the World Cup, it gave everyone massive boost. Everybody wants to go there. Let's go win the b****** thing, on German soil, and if anything comes in our way in the meantime, go through it.

BARRETT: This is the untold story of the ugly face of the beautiful game, filmed undercover at the greatest soccer extravaganza on earth.

MAN: [sings as he's arrested by police] Engaland, Engaland, Engaland!

BARRETT: England's World Cup journey began in Frankfurt, where the fans were feted as the best in the world for being loud, proud and passionate.

ENGLAND SUPPORTERS: [good natured crowd sing National Anthem in the sunshine]

MAN: It's a good atmosphere, good atmosphere.

WOMAN: It's all good fun.

MAN: Everybody's getting on with everybody else.

BARRETT: But England hadn't even kicked a ball before there was trouble. An ugly confrontation with German supporters in the city's main square.

[scenes of violence]

BARRETT: The police didn't overreact, but quietly separated rival fans.

GERMAN FAN: Look over there: these are the English - always making trouble, always, always!

ENGLISH FAN: It's not us, it's them lot.

ENGLISH FANS: [chanting] ... rather be a Paki, rather be a Paki, rather be a Paki, than a Kraut.

BARRETT: As the evening drew in, the atmosphere degenerated, with racist chanting from a section of the crowd.

FANS: [chanting] Oh, I'd rather be a Paki than a Kraut. Oh, I'd rather be a Paki, rather be a Paki, rather be a Paki, than a Kraut.

BARRETT: That night they picked an Irish pub to mob up. It was now English turf: territory to be defended and foreigners were not welcome. Some supporters were itching for a fight.

YOB 1: I want to f****** punch a person but they wont give it, will they? There's nothing here. There's nothing for a f****** punch up.

YOB 2: The only thing I want to do in life is slice a Muslim's head off.

BARRETT: There were no foreign hooligans to fight, or so it seemed. So the English turned on themselves. Following your country abroad provides an opportunity for rival fans to settle old scores. This Leeds United fan had been glassed in the face by a supporter of Lincoln City.

MAN: [bleeding from face and arms] I wouldn't mind if a f****** Greek or a Paki had done it.

MAN2: Yeah bang out of order, that is. It's wrong, that f****** is.

MAN3: Yeah, it's out of order. To come out here, and one of your own does that... ****

Former Stoke City Hooligan
Anywhere where there's alcohol, and vast amounts of people, media, threat of police... it's, you know, it's like a... self combustion, isn't it. It's going to... regardless of where you are, there will be problems.

BARRETT: And the problems were not long in coming. By 1 o'clock in the morning, the number of fans on the streets had dwindled. Only small pockets of English hung around the brothels and the late night drinking dens in Frankfurt's red light district. German hooligans had been biding their time, now they made their move. They launched a surprise ambush against England fans drinking in a bar. The English retaliated in an explosion of violence.

[scenes of street violence]

MAN: Come on, you f****** German f****. We're f****** England! Come on! F*** 'em, they're German *****.

[sounds of police sirens]

FANS: England¿ England¿ England!

BARRETT: The English regrouped and advanced up the street.

MAN: Come on, lads. We're f****** England - com on! F*** 'em, they're German.

BARRETT: Our cameraman, filming openly, was assaulted from behind. German police arrived, a plain clothes officer helped identify the troublemakers. Looking on were a gang of Hell's Angels, who run security in the red light district. When police tried to move them on, they took exception.

ENGLISH FAN: Germans causing trouble. Germans causing trouble. We're all behaving ourselves.

ENGLISH FAN 2: We was in the bar, they were over there. I walked over, "Are you lot German?" They went, "Yeah." I said, "We're over here in the bar, you've been staring at us for a f****** hour. Do you f****** want it or not?"

Q: What did they say?

ENGLISH FAN2: They went: "Yeah." So as I backed across the road they smack me round the head. I threw the ol' bottle - that's it.

BARRETT: Police took control and cordoned off both ends of the street. The English were now surrounded. Our undercover team tried to leave.

BARRETT: What do you want us to do?

POLICE: Just go this way.

BARRETT: But nobody was going anywhere.

ENGLISH FAN: Absolute s***! Isn't it though? *****!

BARRETT: Despite the violence, there was only a handful of arrests, mainly Hell's Angels. Once the situation had calmed down, all these England fans were allowed to leave. It wasn't meant to be like this. Security surrounding the tournament was huge. 170,000 England fans were expected. In order to deter violence, British police were allowed to patrol the streets and airports of Germany for the first time.

Metropolitan Police
We've been checking the people coming into Frankfurt, making sure that none of the people who are on our banned list are coming into the country, and also we're here as a, sort of, a friendly face: British police are here, we're here to help; make their stay here happy and that they feel safe that they've got people that they can come and speak to, if needs be.

BARRETT: Over 3½ thousand hardcore English hooligans were banned from going to Germany: part of tough, new anti-hooligan laws, designed to try and keep the tournament trouble-free. They were told to surrender their passports and report to police stations in England during the World Cup. The police were optimistic.

Metropolitan Police
I don't really have any particular concerns. I'm travelling with a group of very professional, highly-motivated police officers who are going to assist our German colleagues. Police officers, by nature, are very flexible in what they do, and we all respond to whatever the situation is. I go with a very positive view that our... our participation in this will help to diffuse situations that in the past may have caused trouble. So I don't have any specific fears.

MARK: There's definitely going to be 3,000 known hooligans missing from this tournament. What... if anybody in their right mind thinks that there's only 3,000 hooligans in the whole of this country, then there's something wrong.

Munich, World Cup Qualifier
1st September 2001

BARRETT: The Germans had had a dose of the English disease, following England's 5/1 win over its national side in a World Cup qualifier. One of the ringleaders that day was this man, Gillie Shaw.

SHAW: Now f****** do 'em! Get out of the f****** pub, man!

BARRETT: And 5 years on, he'd slipped into Frankfurt for the World Cup finals.

Albufeira, Euro Championships
15th June 2004

BARRETT: More trouble: English hooligans on the rampage in Albufeira, Portugal during the European Championships, 2 years ago.

Undercover filming

BOY: We were in that riot in Albufeira. What? Know that riot in Albufeira?

INT: Yeah.

BOY: We were in that.

INT: Were you in that?

BOY: Brilliant, it was. F****** banged up after the Switzerland match. My God.

BOY: What did you get nicked for?

BOY: Jumping on all cars an' that. Until about six in the morning.

BOY: Sop windows. Car windows an' that.

BARRETT: This is a gang of young hooligans from Huddersfield: a so-called 'youth firm'.

INT: So you think you'll go to Germany?

BOY: There's only three of us going, though.

INT: What are you going to do? How are you going to get there?

BOY: We're flying from East Midlands.

BARRETT: We'll see more of them, later. It's after dark, when most of the trouble started. Back in Frankfurt, plain clothes English and German police acted as spotters. They watched the mob and identified troublemakers, and they recommended tactics to prevent violence. Outside the Eros Bar, the scene of the previous night's riot, the atmosphere was tense. Still smarting from yesterday's ambush, England hooligans were out for revenge.

HOOLIGAN: There is a knocking shop down there which charges 25 cents¿ 25 Euros, but f*** that. I'll take my aggression out on these Kraut ***** We're not walking away from this tonight if it goes off. F****** no chance.

BARRETT: This is Ian, a Chelsea fan. He'd noticed German police spotters, watching from a distance.

IAN: Also, what I've noticed is you people and you think they're f****** thugs. Got f****** plastic wires. They're Old Bill, ain't they?

BARRETT: He then identified British plain clothes police.

IAN: Tell me they're not Old Bill. They are right on top. Yeah, why don't we just batter them? Let's do the British Old Bill. The Germans ain't going to f****** stick up for 'em, are they?

HOOLIGAN: I'm ready for it mate. It's going to go off in a minute, innit?

BARRETT: It's clear that police attempts to keep troublemakers out of Germany had not been totally successful. This is a Peterborough United supporter.

HOOLIGAN: I've been on a banning order a few years ago. I thought, there's no way I would get in, if they checked me, but they did f***-all. I was s******* myself for two days. And there was f***-all people there, know what I mean? I'm here now so f*** 'em.

GERMAN POLICE: If you don't go you will be arrested. We don't want trouble too, yeah? You will go away.

BARRETT: Much to Ian's surprise, they were allowed to leave. It's not something the police would have permitted.

IAN: I thought they were clued up but they let us walk off, nothing. The British Old Bill were making themselves busy but¿

MAN: You f****** Turkish ****!

BARRETT: The authorities were keen to keep a low profile.

HOOLIGAN: [on mobile] We can't do no more. I'll text you tomorrow.

BARRETT: Their approach was non-confrontational.

Bavarian State Minister
We know that in the case of most hooligans, aggressive behaviour on our part would be more likely to incite them to violence. The reason: the typical hooligan wants to test his strength in an unacceptable manner, he wants to beat up his opponent, even though he knows that the other guy will probably fight back. If our police give the impression of being ready to go into battle, that will inflame the hooligans' emotions so that they reach an even higher pitch. So, in other words, from the point of few of deployment tactics, it's better to say that we want our policemen to across as friendly.

England vs Paraguay
10th June 2006

COMMENTATOR: It's a very warm afternoon here in Frankfurt, and here we go. England's World Cup campaign in Germany is underway, and any second now into the bright sunshine here in Frankfurt come the teams. Flash bulbs going off as well, even though it's a beautiful sunny afternoon - about 25 degrees centigrade here.

ENGLISH FANS: [chanting] England¿ England¿ England!

England 1 - Paraguay 0

BARRETT: Ordinary English fans despair at our reputation for hooliganism, but other European countries also have violent supporters.

COMMENTATOR: Welcome to Dortmund for the Group A game between Germany and Poland.

BARRETT: Germany and Poland are archrivals, with the animosity between their supporters borne out of events that occurred more than 60 years ago. Poland was crushed and then brutally occupied by the Germans in World War 2 - its Jewish population deported and murdered in the Nazi concentration camps.

Head of UK Football Policing Unit
There have already been confrontations between Polish and German supporters on fields alongside motorways, where they have organised fights where they tape each other up and wear, you know, mouth guards, and gum guards, and strip off and it's last man standing, unless the police find it and prevent it.

German Interior Ministry
In Poland, the fan and the hooligan's seen as fairly new. It's very aggressive. The National League in Poland has huge problems with hooliganism, but it is a situation where communication between the Polish authorities and the German authorities is, of course, of utmost importance.

BARRETT: 3 miles of red carpet was laid down to direct fans from the station straight to the stadium. With a hooligan fringe of their own, the Germans understood the importance of proper match day organisation, but this was an intelligence-led operation; a covert war between hooligan and police.

Polish Police
We have a lot of spotters here. I mean, these are police officers from Poland, without uniforms, in plain clothes and they are working here, supporting German police officers and informing them about potential troublemakers.

BARRETT: Uniformed police have been tipped off by spotters about a pre-arranged fight between German and Polish hooligans. A group of suspected ringleaders were surrounded and removed one at a time, in a series of preventative arrests, designed to stop trouble before it began, but the city was swarming with hooligans. Undercover officers battled with fans. Hundreds of riot police tried to clear drunken hooligans from Dortmund's city centre. Police had separated rival fans, so German hooligans attacked the riot squad instead. Sporadic violence broke out all over the city. The Bavarian riot squad, the country's elite public order unit dealt with the unrest. The police arrested almost 413 in Dortmund. The German authority seemed satisfied that up 'til now they'd been capable of handling trouble, but worse was to come later on in the tournament, when they faced the English.

COMMENTATOR: Germany 1, Poland nil. And Oliver Neuville has as good as put Germany through and sent Poland home.

BARRETT: They reckon there's about 70,000 English fans in the vicinity of Nuremberg today and it's also inextricably linked with the Second World War. If there's one place in Germany most associated with the evils of Nazism, it's Nuremberg. Carpet-bombed by the allies, its citizens are particularly sensitive to references to what happened here more than 6 decades ago. A group of England fans visited a museum, built next to a giant arena in which Hitler held mass rallies. It was the seat of his power, and a monument to the Third Reich.

MUSEUM SPOKESMAN: You can see here a map, with all the relics, which the Nazis constructed, and they intended to construct architect for world power.

ENGLISH FAN: The surprise element was the reality part of it, really: the fact that we, you know, because of where we live, we're sort of distant from these things, but when you're actually here in the, sort of, heart of... of the sort of, Nazi empire, if you like, and then see all the documentation, and realise it started here, and it happened here. I think that's a... that's a little bit chilling, you know.

ENGLISH FAN: It's quite humbling. It's one of those places where you have a walk round and you think there's a lot more to life. You know, I've got family that have been in the war, and it's good to come and see the other side, and what it was all about.

BARRETT: Germany is facing up to its past, and fans were warned against displaying the Swastika, or making the Nazi salute.

Michael Endler
Head of German Football Intelligence
The message is clear: any use of Nazi symbols, Nazi slogans is a criminal offence, and will consequently be prosecuted.

BARRETT: ... but that didn't stop QPR fans raising their arms on a balcony, once used by Hitler when reviewing his troops. On the streets of Frankfurt, there were similar gestures.

HOOLIGANS: [chanting] Sorry from England! Sorry from England shot them down! There were five German bombers in the air¿.

BARRETT: And many repeatedly insulted their hosts, by adopting a song about shooting down German bombers as their unofficial World Cup anthem.

ENDLER: These such jibes are almost unknown and unusual in Germany. They are considered as a lack of respect for the victims of the war, and the Nazi regime.

ENGLISH FAN: Well, there's been some chanting about the German bombers: 9, 10 German bombers, and all that, and what's it got to do with football? Makes you sick to be English, to be honest. No, it's just not... football songs: great. You know, we all support our countries. So support them with pride.

BARRETT: The motto of the World Cup was: 'A time to make friends', and that's just what the vast majority of England fans did. Before the match with Trinidad and Tobago, they staged a special contest.

[mock cricket match]

[tossing coin] Your choice, English shoots. We'll have a bat. Alright, OK. We'll field - we're going to win!

COMMENTATOR: Trini-bagonians - that's the collective term for people from Trinidad and Tobago - this is your moment.

England vs Trinidad & Tobago
15th June 2006

COMMENTATOR: And if you're stuck in traffic, wind down your window, take a deep breath, and stay with us. We'll bring you all the action here.

England 2 - Trinidad & Tobago 0

COMMENTATOR: That's the end of the game as far as England are concerned; top of the Group, going through to the next round, but in what condition?

BARRETT: That evening, some England supporters stood back from the celebrations. They found a place to drink, and their chants were about belittling other countries. Brazilians were also in Nuremberg, following a win over Croatia, but when they tried to join the fun, they were roundly abused. All the while, the police stood in the background. The majority of hardcore English hooligans may have been prevented from reaching Germany - the banning orders sorted that - but they were replaced by something else: lager lads.

Head Spotter, British police
I think when the tournament started, the group of people I was most interested in was the lads. They were out for a party time, but if some trouble happens, they'll be right in the middle of it, and I think that's what we've seen through the championship. We've seen that group constantly in the thick of things, and they've just been totally anti-social and loutish.

ENGLISH HOOLIGANS: [taunting and provoking] England, England, England, England, England, England, England!

LEWIS: Is this the subculture? It is this misguided loyalty. Nobody's trying to antagonise, or do anything, and so I wonder what's beneath all this? Is it football? Is there something else going on that we don't know about? What are these people being loyal to? Because I can't find the cause that they're rallying behind: it isn't football.

BARRETT: Their behaviour was not dissimilar from anything witnessed in our town centres at the weekend. Their anger was directed at anyone.

HOOLIGAN: [advancing aggressively towards camera] All you're worried about it is getting your f****** silly little story. Look at you, just hanging around here, just waiting for f******... you f****** scumbags. Are you English? Are you English? You're betraying your own f****** people, f*** it¿ 'orrible.

HOOLIGANS: [chanting] Get your t*** out! Get your t*** out! Get your t*** out for the lads! Get your t*** out for the lads. Get your t*** out! Get your t*** out! Get your t*** out for the lads!

Former Stoke City Hooligan
Conflict's ingrained in human nature. You know, if we stripped ourselves and took all our nice computers away, and our nice cars and our comfy chairs, and put us all together as we were thousands of years ago - what's the first thing we're going to do? Fight over that stick, because we can make a fire with that. We're animals.

COMMENTATOR: Welcoming you to the capital of the Rhineland, and to Germany's fourth largest city. It should be an English type atmosphere this evening.

BARRETT: Halfway through the tournament, and England's travelling road show move to Cologne. Fans were here for the final first-round game against Sweden: opponents we haven't beaten in 38 years.

HOOLIGANS: [chanting] Stick your Ikea, stick your Ikea, stick your Ikea up your a***!

BARRETT: In amongst the crowd were hooligan gangs from across England. Gangs from the lower divisions of English football are always well-represented when the national side plays abroad.

ANDY NICHOLLS: These smaller clubs come from, like, little towns, little cities where they've had no opportunity to mix it with the big boys: your Burnleys, you Carlisles, your Huddersfields - teams like that, which never get the opportunity to watch their club side in Europe.

BARRETT: Drunken England fans overran the statues in Cologne's historic square. German police didn't want to inflame the situation, which some considered a mistake.

LEWIS: If I was a police commander back in the UK, I think I would have wanted my officers to... well, I would have instructed my officers to take some... some action against some individuals. There's a very difficult balance between being over-tolerant and not trying to instigate some kind of trouble.

BARRETT: An England fan injured himself falling from a statue. Medics tried to help, but were hampered by the crowd.

MAN: A lad's fallen from up here. We've called the police in to help out. They're coming with all their helmets on. Next thing you know, idiots are throwing bottles at 'em.

BARRETT: 15 police officers were injured in a volley of glass bottles, thrown by English thugs. In the middle of the mob, English hooligans gained strength in numbers, and urged each other on, surging forward, determined to cause a riot, but the police here adopted tougher tactics to those previously seen.

[riot squad bears down on crowd]

ENGLAND SUPPORTER: This is my first day here, because I've come over, first time watching England away, and because of how good the fans have been. So now I'm p***** off, totally p***** off.

BARRETT: Caught up in the violence, an innocent England supporter became separated from his son. When he tried to breach police lines, he was temporarily blinded with pepper spray.

MAN: Yeah, I'm English. Why did you do that? I'm looking for my son! Why did you do that?

BARRETT: At a local school, on the eve of the game, the official England Supporters' Club entertains students with a few football songs. Visits like this help to build bridges. Youngsters learn not all England fans were hooligans.

[scenes of young English supporters singing and mixing with German youth]

MARK PERRYMAN: [presenting flag to Elsea] and we understand that Elsa Braunstorm doesn't have a flag; you do now!

London England Fans
We're very conscious that we've got a negative reputation as England fans. We can have an argument whether we deserve that reputation or not, but the fact is, we've had a negative reputation for the last 10 or 20 years. By doing efforts like this, we begin to turn those negatives into positives.

BARRETT: Organisers had put a lot of work into this, and were dismayed by the previous night's violence.

MARK: Hooligan is too polite a term for them. They're bullies. They're school bullies, who want to assert the fact that they're here and they want to ruin it for the rest of us. We want to be the most welcome guests at the party. That doesn't stop me wanting England to win, and preferably to beat Germany. I'm just as passionate as any fan, but I will not accept this idea that patriotism is dragging your country's reputation through the street - which is what those people are doing.

BARRETT: Back on the streets of Cologne, and it was match day. There was a huge influx of England fans and the mayor had a warning.

Fritz Schramma
Lord Mayor of Cologne
We don't want to have people who come with no friendly manner, with violence, with attacks, and these fighting ideas. That is not what we want to have in the city. If there are young people, or older people who do not behave as we want, and as it is good for football, they have to be punished, of course.

BARRETT: And he was true to his word. When 45 known German hooligans were spotted in the city, they were immediately arrested, but there were many more who'd managed to evade the police, and they'd come to fight the English.

Former Everton hooligan
These foreign 2-bob firms think that because England have 3,000 hardcore fans banned, that they will be walked over, walked upon: "Let's clear England out of the way. This is our chance." The Poles, the Swiss, for Christ's sake, and the Germans think there's never been a better opportunity to take on the English. They can bring it on, can't they?

Undercover filming

BARRETT: There were English hooligans there too. Members of Huddersfield's youth firm had made it to Germany. Steve Hunt was in the middle of a story about nearly coming to blows with a gang from Cardiff.

STEVE HUNT: What kind of mob has he got? They were like, Have Cardiff brought a thousand? I went, "All right." He went: "No, no, no, give us your number. I'll get a coachload." I says: "You don't need a number. Just f****** come and we'll have it with you."

BARRETT: Steve's brother, Andy Hunt was there.

ANDY HUNT: You're watching it with us, yeah?

BARRETT: And this is Gavin Buckley. They went off to watch the match on television in a local bar.

England vs Sweden
20TH June 2006

It's called the Rhine Energy Stadium in FC Köln. We've got a ground that's been completely redesigned for this World Cup. They haven't done enough to have won the match today, and this is obviously worrying signs for the future.

England 2 - Sweden 2

BARRETT: After the final whistle, violence broke out in the city, an England fan threw the first punch. They were trying to attack German supporters who'd gathered in the main square. Under the now familiar hail of bottles, the police separated the warring factions. Huddersfield's Youth Firm were on the frontline. Steven Hunt urged others on to greater violence. Huddersfield were still at the forefront of the troubles. The police cleared the square and arrested over 100 troublemakers, mostly Germans. Former hooligans claimed that fear and adrenalin are addictive.

Former Stoke City Hooligan
You can get treatment for anything, alcohol, gambling, drugs, sex - there's no counsellors that are prepared to sit down with us say: "Right tell me about it, what's your problem?" My problem is I can't get football violence out me head.

BARRETT: In amongst the crowd was Ronald Kersh, and international hooligan Mr Fix-it. He organises fights between hooligan gangs across Europe.

[Secret filming]

RONALD KERSH: There was a good German Firm coming this way with about nearly 300 boys.

BBC: [undercover] Were they?

KERSH: Yes. There was a Firm, before the police stopped them, round here. They attached the Old Bill and ran through. Maybe 50 or 60 got through and there was a small scuffle with the English.

BARRETT: Kersh was disappointed. He said the police tactics of preventative arrest were spoiling his fun.

BBC: We were in Dortmund for the Germany / Poland game. Were you there?

KERSH: Yeah of course.

BBC: You've gotta be, haven't you.

KERSH: You know there were totally 80 Poles there¿ firm, 70 arrested before, because we got a pre-arranged fight in Oberhausen.

BBC: Oh yeah?

KERSH: Their top Firm. Their coach was stopped¿ 60 boys.

BBC: No way!

KERSH: And 10 top boys from Warsaw were also stopped. It was a s*** day.

COMMENTATOR: A few customary wobbles along the way but England made it through to the knockout stage.

BARRETT: England's penultimate game was in Stuttgart in South West Germany. This was to be the scene of the worst outbreak of hooliganism in the whole World Cup. Hundreds of English fans arrived three days early for the match against Ecuador. They commandeered steps overlooking the main square. It was like an old-fashioned football terrace, and having gained the high ground they set about abusing passers by. A small band of Tunisians was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. They'd been mistaken for Turks and assaulted by drunken thugs who threw beer and bottles. Turks are reviled by some fans following the stabbing of two Leeds supporters in Istanbul 6 years ago. They were chased down the steps and attacked again. The police decided to crack down. Over 130 English fans were surrounded.

Asst Chief Constable, Stuttgart Police
It was a very aggressive atmosphere. They were throwing bottles and singing loudly. We considered this to be dangerous to other citizens who were walking around. So I decided to arrest these troublemakers.

BARRETT: Having lost their patience they detained everyone. It was the first time preventative arrests were used against England supporters.

OFFICER: Come with us. We make an identity check with you.

BBC: Yeah, yeah, of course.

BARRETT: Our undercover team was caught in the middle and were among the first to be detained. It was a long walk to the waiting police van. They were read their rights, cuffed and put in the back of the vehicle.

OFFICER: You must sit down in the car and the car will drive you to the station and there the identity check.

BARRETT: A Millwall supporter was about to join them.

SUPPORTER: [sings as he's being handcuffed and put into police van] Engaland¿ Engaland¿ Engaland¿. Hello mate. F****** hell I hate these f****** **** Oi, mate, can you put my hat on my head properly. (laugh)

ARRESTEE: [in van] Yeah mate, come here.

SUPPORTER: He's got no f****** ties on. At the end of the day¿.. [Crash! Overweight supporter falls heavily in van]

BARRETT: It would be a long night in the cell.

SUPPORTER: Are we f****** going to get let out or what?

BARRETT: Those arrested were all released the following morning and told to leave the city. The police had laid down a marker. No longer would they tolerate English troublemakers. They would treat the English in the same way as they have neutralised the Germans and the Poles. No more Mr Nice Guy. Behave or be arrested. While England fans were in Stuttgart to see their team play Ecuador in the knockout stage of the tournament, German interest centred on their match with Sweden.

[overhead filming: a sea of flag waving supporters fills the square]

BARRETT: A vast crowd gathered to watch the game on giant screens in the city centre. There was huge pride in the national flag, something not seen in Germany for many years. But behind the scenes there were concerns. Fearing that English thugs would wreak havoc British police advised their host to close the steps.

Head Spotter, British Police
What we said was, there's¿ the steps is going to be a congregation area again, and you can consider whether you wish to close them off, deny access to people. It's an option. It was an option that wasn't taken.

Lord Mayor, Stuttgart
You know that's a public area, you cannot just say nobody can go there. We are living in an open society in an international community, so we do not want to close everything.

BARRETT: Germany won 2-1, much to the disappointment of the English contingents who'd wanted the host nation to lose. They'd reclaimed the steps as predicted. When thousands of German supporters began filing back into town they subjected them to a torrent of abuse. As the beer continued to flow their behaviour deteriorated. In an act of provocation this man spat on the German flag. It worked and soon punches and chairs were flying. The situation developed into a standoff between the two sets of supporters. Some desperately tried to get away. It was about to become a full-scale riot. Belatedly the police moved in and lashed out at anyone within range. In the middle of the mass disorder beer continued to be sold in large quantities.

LEWIS: There were bars that I would have shut. But just round the corner you've got street sellers selling bottles of beer anyway. In Stuttgart on average they drank 17 litres of beer each.

BARRETT: Riot police restored order with pepper spray and batons. The softly, softly approach of earlier games was a thing of the past.

SCHUSTER: There is no way just to react as normal people you know, to discuss and say please behave normal otherwise you have serious consequences. There is no way like this. It is only the way to show the power of the police, with this dress.. this is protecting dress, showing a very strong mass of policemen, that it's clear if you behave and try to resist, you will be the loser.

BARRETT: At the bottom of the steps a Turk was assaulted. He'd lost his glasses in the attack. Drunken England fans refused to allow him to recover them. They even took his photograph as a sick souvenir. So the police began a carefully orchestrated operation to pick out the ringleaders one by one and sent in smash squads to make arrests. Dozens were led away. Some so drunk they could hardly stand. This was alcohol fuelled yob culture. There may have been fewer hardcore hooligans but the presence of so many drunken thugs was worrying to the British police.

LEWIS: We'd made huge steps in controlling organise violence. That side of things in general has been a success. I think the next step is the antisocial louts that refuse to take any cognisance of any authority, laws, regulations, drink to excess, generally people you wouldn't want to live next door to. Now if they start to associate themselves with football, as they associate themselves with the night time economy across the UK, I think we, as a society, have got a real problem.

BARRETT: Nearly 400 England fans were taken into custody. Just a few days earlier the Germans had been honouring them as the best in the world. But their love affair with England's World Cup entourage was over. The following day England met Ecuador. On the ground police mounted another huge operation to ensure the tournament was not consumed by the English disease.

England vs Ecuador
25th June 2006

COMMENTATOR: It really is a sweltering day in Stuttgart¿.

[Sea of supporters fill the square, watching on the big screen]

England 1 - Ecuador 0

COMMENTATOR: It's all over! Here in Stuttgart, England have stumbled their way really over the finishing line here.

BARRETT: The fans celebrated but some were out of control. It was a culture of excess taken beyond the level of acceptable behaviour. On the steps were Andy Hunt and Gavin Buckley of Huddersfield's youth firm. They were revelling in a close encounter they'd had with the police.

BUCKLEY: The old bill's charged us! I thought oh s***, so I set off running. Me and my mate Andy but we ran into a load of f****** chairs. We couldn't get through them. We ended up tumbling over them. F***** hell, I got whacked on my back there. My mate Andy was whacked in his mouth, he had to have emergency surgery on his two front teeth.

BARRETT: Huddersfield's Stephen Hunt was also there, and Steve Cornell who'd been arrested the previous night and released only on the condition he stayed out of town. Lime many others, he ignored the warning.

CORNELL: We're not allowed in here today¿ we're not allowed here today. We're not allowed in Stuttgart now.. we're not allowed to come back.

Q: So what did they say, just go home?

CORNELL: They said you cannot be in three miles of Stuttgart or else you'll get arrested.

Q: Are you not worried about that?

CORNELL: What? I've seen loads of people who were here last night.

BARRETT: The poor performances of England on the field didn't dampen their fans celebrations. Only the Portuguese now stood in the way of the team reaching the last four.

COMMENTATOR: Will this compact arena in Gelsenkirchen be remembered as a gateway to the semi-final, or is England prepared now to come out, will it be a back door to World Cup oblivion.

England vs Portugal
1st July 2006

LEWIS: There were scenes that you wish England were not associated with, and the looks on some people's faces, evil hatred, and really the moral leadership of some of the parents that I saw here was hugely disappointing. The most disappointing thing that I've seen at this championship was a young boy of about 8 years of age singing "ten German bombers". Where do we go from here with people like that?

NICHOLLS: To stamp down hooliganism once and for all you'd have to get every male between the age of 14 and 40 and chop their hands and legs off.

BARRETT: The England team suffered from poor management, the same can be said of the hooligans.

LEWIS: They didn't have effective leadership which was good. I think the challenge to us now is to make sure that if any potential leaders try and put their heads above the parapet that we're on top of them and make sure they don't succeed.

England lose on penalties.

COMMENTATOR: ¿are out of the World Cup.

BARRETT: The vast majority of England fans behaved impeccably. Police tactics and banning orders seemed to work. But in two years time thousands will travel to Austria and Switzerland for the European Championships. Will that be the next venue for England's shame?

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