Fans who risk life and limb

Die-hard English supporters flock to Russia to cheer team on despite safety concerns

Harry Kane taking a wefie with brother Charlie (in grey) and supporters. England fans are expected to turn up in droves to support their team in today's quarter-final match against Sweden, with thousands in Samara hoping to chance upon resale tickets
Harry Kane taking a wefie with brother Charlie (in grey) and supporters. England fans are expected to turn up in droves to support their team in today's quarter-final match against Sweden, with thousands in Samara hoping to chance upon resale tickets.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Glass and blood all over the floor and choking on tear gas is how Howard Taylor describes one of his harrowing experiences as an England fan. It happened after the now infamous 2016 European Championship match between the Three Lions and Russia in Marseille as supporters from both sides clashed.

Another memory sticks out for Taylor. This time it is Moscow in 2007 and he and his countrymen are being called out by about 100 Russians itching for a fight after Russia's 2-1 loss to England in a Euro 2008 qualifier. The Russian authorities deployed a tank to disperse the crowd.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2018, with the headline 'Fans who risk life and limb'. Print Edition | Subscribe