Don’t let people tell you Liverpool Fans turned up late and attacked the police, they attacked us

Liverpool fan Phil Rowan was in Paris and saw an unprovoked police attack on football supporters. Here he tells his story – and the story of many other fans


We spent the day walking to the ground stopping for refreshments. We left the last bar 90 minutes before and that was a 10 minute walk to the ground.

That’s where it all went wrong.

There was a police block and an outer cordon that was uncomfortable but nothing worse than usual European away matches in France and Spain.

We got through and I said that should be the worse bit over. How wrong I was.

There was now an hour until kick off but we were at the ground.

Gate A was directly in front and didn’t look to bad.

Gate Z to the right and then our gate, Y.

We walked that way and there was a huge crowd, and we seen the stairs inside the stadium were empty.

We tried to make our way to Y and there was a huge crush, the fence to our left with tv fans behind, the crowd and gates to the right.

We then were told the gates had been shut and had been for some time.

The police then started wading in from the direction of the turnstiles with shields and batons and it caused a panic and people were trying to escape in both directions but no one could move.

We lifted kids up over the fence to sit on the tv vehicles.

Eventually we went back the way we come through the panic stricken crowd and from the back the police were firing tear gas, we all got it.

This went on for an hour, gates locked and the police attacking people, eventually we got in through gate A. Just after kick off and hours since we arrived. There are empty seats here, don’t let people tell you the inside is over crowded it’s not.

Don’t let people tell you we turned up late and attacked the police, they attacked us.

Fuck you UEFA. I’m not even too interested in the match, it’s ruined.

Our group have been all around the world with LFC and World Cups. We know how to deal with aggressive police and get into football grounds. But the ground tonight was closed for hours. We were told that Real Madrid fans also had major issues.

I had a feeling people might end up dead

This short clip shows how dangerous it was yesterday and is the exact spot we were in. It doesn’t show the full context just a couple of feet so I’ll explain.

The fence is the barrier between the sort of outside outer cordon and the inside cordon. The vehicles belonged to the press. Behind that some had press on filming and they said don’t worry we are filming this to show what’s happening.

If you imagine the fence is on the left, gate Z is to the right, and gate Y (our gate) about 50 metres past that. Both gates had been locked since 18:30, kick off was meant to be 21:00. This was about 20:00.

The police were in front wading in with shields and batons so naturally people were trying to go backwards to get away. From behind police were firing tear gas so others were coming toward us. People were going in both directions to get away from danger but no one could move.

As you can see people had to lift kids and older people over the fence on to vehicles to make sure they were okay.

It was shortly after that we slowly made our way backwards and told people coming toward us that the gates were locked and the police were attacking people. Thankfully people then also turned around and went backward towards the police with tear gas, as it was safer than staying there or going forwards. People stayed remarkably calm and helped others.

It was in the middle of all that that I had a feeling people might end up dead. That’s when winning the European cup stops being the main concern.

The only thing I care about is that I am 99.9% confident no one died today because at one time I thought there would be and seen someone getting CPR. The police were firing CS gas like it’s going out of fashion. No one knows why. Both sets of fans were running away

I’ve been all over Eastern Europe watching football and never been treated like this. UEFA and the police need to be held accountable.