Liverpool fans were ‘fearful of another stadium disaster’ as the carnage in Paris unfolded

Fanswere were locked out of the Champions League final at the Stade de France after ticketless thugs attempted to rush and skip goals

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Champions League final: use of tear gas after the game

It should be an exciting day in the Paris sun, a game that will mark the culmination of a successful season for Liverpool and an opportunity to be crowned European champions.

What was meant to be filled with memories Liverpool fans should cherish became a nightmare that some feared would become yet another stadium disaster.

Liverpool fan Edward Lynch, an A&E doctor, said: “It was a mess. The whole thing was a mess.

“The fans were really afraid that it would end in another stadium disaster.”

dr Lynch added that he helped treat a man in his 70s who said he was hit by a police baton or sign during a scuffle outside the stadium.

I left my seat at the Stade de France at 7.25pm ​​- 35 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time – after hearing that huge lines had formed outside and thugs were trying to storm the gates.

Police with fans in front of the stadium


AFP via Getty Images)

I saw a large number of ticketless men trying to get through the secure stadium perimeter. Some managed to break through and ran into the stadium.

I watched other police officers goading with batons and throwing rockets.

Despite what the French Home Secretary has said, from what I saw – and from what others have told me – these weren’t Liverpool fans causing trouble. They were actually local gangs of boys.

As I moved between Gates X and Y at the Liverpool end, I saw dozens of men huddled on the other side of the metal fences before making repeated attempts to climb over them and storm the gates.

Fans hold their noses against the tear gas


Aside via Getty Images)

Police officers were ordered to run back and forth between different areas to quell the riots that broke out.

A young steward told me Gate Y had been closed minutes earlier after 40-50 thugs fought their way through.

Thousands of men, women and children – almost all in Liverpool garb – stayed outside Gate Y amid the chaos, begging for help.

Some were in tears and pain as police officers repeatedly fired CS gas near them.

Kop legend Kenny Dalglish laid a wreath at the stadium to mark the 37th anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster that killed 39 people.

Liverpool fans at the Stade de France



Some supporters who spoke to me through the security fences feared they were witnessing a disaster like Heysel’s – or even closer to home.

Jan Charlton, who has supported Liverpool for more than half a century, said: “This is shocking. It could be a different Hillsborough.

“It’s the worst organization I’ve ever seen. We showed up two hours before the game, neither of us is drunk and we are treated that way.

“We got to the turnstile and they wouldn’t let us in. Local guys try to steal people’s bags and cause trouble so they try to force their way in.

“We did nothing wrong but all the police have done is be aggressive towards us.

“It shouldn’t be happening and there should be more security out here to stop it.

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Some were in tears and pain



“It’s disgusting.”

Another fan approached me believing I was an officer because of my media lanyard.

He thought I was in walkie-talkie contact with stadium security and the police. He pleaded: “People are being killed here.

“There are Algerians out here with knives and guns and all sorts of things.

“That has to be clarified now. We are gassed in tears for no reason. That is absolute incompetence.”

Fans queue in front of the stadium before the Champions League final


(Getty Images)

And another supporter added: “Liverpool fans will be blamed for this but we are behaving and just waiting to get in.”

Liverpool fan Giles Green, 43, was among many ticket holders who were wrongly denied entry to the Stade de France on Saturday night.

He said: “Everyone stood in line peacefully.

“But they wouldn’t let us in and when some people started getting in by other means, they started tear-gassing us all.”

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Darren Nicholl, from Belfast, was in tears inside the fenced off area after being separated from his 14-year-old son Reuben when a swelling crowd of thugs pushed him through a gate against his will.

Darren, 40, said: “The locals tried to press charges.

“Reuben yelled at me, ‘Daddy, Daddy, help me,’ but I couldn’t get hold of him to help me.

“It was awful and the next thing I didn’t know was where he was. Some of them came in.”

Fans labeled it ‘ranking incompetence’



At 9:37 p.m. local time, seconds after the late kick-off, I watched as dozens of young men locked outside furiously attempted to storm Gate X.

I saw Darren again, now reunited with Reuben.

Darren said: “I don’t care about the game now. I don’t even want to see it.

“Whenever we come to games in these foreign countries, it’s always difficult.

“I’m just glad Reuben is okay. I thought he had been trampled on.”

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