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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Fans cheer England to opening win
England fan in Frankfurt
England fans have descended in their thousands on Frankfurt
Millions of England fans are breathing a sigh of relief after a victorious start to their team's World Cup effort.

Tens of thousands of fans flooded into Frankfurt to watch England take on Paraguay. Millions of others cheered on the players in British homes and pubs.

The crowds had to wait only three minutes for England to go 1-0 up - but that turned out to be the only goal.

There was little trouble in Germany but big screen showings of the match were disrupted in Liverpool and London.

Drunken youths hurled beer cans and bottles during the second half of the transmission on the BBC big screen in Liverpool city centre, which had to be halted on police advice.

And up to 200 football fans also were caught up in a brawl during a big screen showing in the shadow of Canary Wharf in London docklands, Scotland Yard said.

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Fans including Mike Marston (centre)
Send your World Cup photos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

Six people were left with minor injuries and were treated at the scene by an ambulance crew.

Tony Blair watched the game from Chequers - while flying a St George's flag over Downing Street.

And the Queen sent a message of support via Prince William, who congratulated the players in their dressing room after the match.

Those not interested in the football took advantage of one of the hottest days of the year, with temperatures reaching up to 29C (84F) in London.

German police estimated that 25,000 England fans were in Frankfurt for the cup clash in the city's Commerzbank Arena.

More than 10,000 fans without stadium tickets watched the game from the banks of the River Main on two huge video screens.

Ashley Dellow, 32, from Bristol, said: "The atmosphere was great until the game started but then it went a bit quiet because the performance of the team didn't lift the crowd.

"But the day as a whole has been fantastic."

The BBC News website's Tom Geoghegan said the subdued mood towards the end of the match had been replaced by a party atmosphere as fans celebrated victory on street corners.

Water hoses and free bottles of water on some streets helped people cool down in the stifling heat.

England fan John Trueman
This is going to be great. The Germans have been very welcoming
Fan John Trueman

British police have been on patrol with their German counterparts in Frankfurt - the first time they have been deployed in uniform at an overseas sporting event.

There were some scuffles in the city overnight - when 20 people were arrested - but police said there were no serious problems.

Two English fans and two Irish fans were arrested overnight and later released, said a Home Office spokeswoman.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Thomas, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "There was a fairly tense atmosphere at times, and some very good work from the Frankfurt police, moving in at the right time with the help of our spotting operation to defuse issues."

England fans saluted the German hospitality and the camaraderie among supporters.

Fan Mike Marston, 35, said he arrived late in Frankfurt after taking a wrong turn at Brussels. He said: "It's a brilliant atmosphere, last night every country - Mexicans, Iranians, Argentineans - were singing with the English."

BANNED FANS
3,500 fans are subject to banning orders
180 have not surrendered their passports
One has got into Germany, a ticket tout
Another was turned away trying to enter from the Czech Republic

John Trueman, 42, from Rotherham said: "The thing I love most about England away games in the atmosphere, coming here with eight of my mates."

Back in the UK, the game saw electricity usage surge by 850 megawatts - the equivalent of 340,000 kettles being switched on at the same time.

While many watched the match at home - sales of large flat-screen televisions were especially strong in advance of the tournament - pubs enjoyed a boost in business.

Bookmakers predict the tournament will see record wagers, with more than 1bn is likely to be gambled by UK punters alone - five times the figure for the 2002 World Cup.


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See the carnival-like scenes on Frankfurt's streets



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