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Last Updated: Thursday May 15 2008 06:25 GMT

Helen reports on Uefa Cup trouble

Helen doing a live report in Manchester

Trouble broke out on the streets of Manchester during the Uefa Cup final as a big screen that was set up for fans stopped working.

Helen was with some of the thousands of Rangers fans who'd travelled to the city and told us what happened.


"As I tip-toed through broken glass and puddles of wee, it was hard to remember that just a few hours earlier being in Manchester was like being in the middle of a carnival with a load of friends you hadn't seen for ages.

More than 100,000 fans were in the city for the Uefa cup final and because hardly any of them had a ticket - only 13,000 were available - they took to the streets.

Good time

During the day, the atmosphere was brilliant. Everyone was singing, chanting and literally bouncing up and down.

Rangers fans: Dean, 11, and Declan, 10
Dean and Declan were in Manchester to cheer on their team
It was so busy you couldn't see the pavement, but it really was a great feeling.

People think being in a big footie crowd is scary, but everyone wanted to have a good time and you couldn't help get carried along with it.

Loads of kids we spoke to had driven down with their parents through the night, few had hotel rooms and were driving back after the game.

Fans frustrated

I watched the game from an office looking onto Cathedral square. We had a great view of the big screen and could watch the crowd.

We picked the right place as we heard the screens in Piccadilly kept breaking. No wonder the fans got frustrated.

Every time the screens showed shots of the fans cheering, the crowds in Manchester started bouncing, it was really funny.

Going nowhere

But in the second half it all started to go wrong. Zenit scored twice and angry fans started throwing bottles at the screen.

I thought it would be a good time to leave. Who was I kidding?

100,000 people were trying to get out of Manchester, I was going nowhere!

So I spent a good couple of hours waiting, watching grown men and women cry, listening to families talk about how they would stay warm as they curled up in their flags in shop doorways and wondering how on earth Manchester would ever get rid of the smell of wee that had developed over the past few hours."