Hundreds of fans on the most patriotic estate in the country missed most of England’s defeat after their outdoor screen was switched off by police – after a fight broke out.
Families and residents living in the Kirby Estate, which is decked out with England flags, missed the second half and extra time in the 2-1 loss to Croatia after a riot broke out, according to witnesses.
Locals say a huge fight kicked off at half time – while England were winning 1-nil – when gangs of youths tried to barge their way into the big community screen.
The estate, in Bermondsey, south east London, rose to fame after residents hung more than 300 England flags from their balconies for the World Cup.
Met Police confirmed they had received multiple calls from concerned residents about the youths.
They said that the group began fighting with chairs at half time.
Local officers rushed to the scene and calmed the situation down – but they ordered the big screen be turned off, forcing fans to find other places to watch the second half, and nail-biting extra time.
Police say no arrests were made and one person was treated for a possible eye injury.
Despite the loss, locals have vowed to keep the flags up until the end of the tournament – and are hoping to watch England’s match with Belgium for third place.
Geraldine Howard, 52, has lived on the estate for 28 years and the grandmother began flying England flags for the 2012 European Cup – and it has ‘snowballed’ ever since.
She was the first to put one out and soon neighbours joined in so they got together to fly the flag every St George’s Day or when England plays a match
The estate is also home to Turks, French, Colombian, Portuguese, Spanish, Poles, Nigerians.
Speaking before the semi-final defeat, she said: “It just brings the community together – we’ve got a diverse lot here and it brings us closer.
“The flags get us all chatting and talking. It’s a sense of pride really.”
Since you’re here …
We do not charge or put articles behind a paywall. If you can, please show your appreciation for our free content by donating whatever you think is fair to help keep TLE growing.
Every penny we collect from donations supports vital investigative and independent journalism. You can also help us grow by inviting your friends to follow us on social media.