Thousands of England fans descend on Gelsenkirchen ahead of Three Lions' first Euro 2024 match against Serbia

16 June 2024, 15:13

England fans in Gelsenkirchen
England fans in Gelsenkirchen. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Thousands of England fans have descended on Gelsenkirchen ahead of the national side's opening game against Serbia on Sunday night.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Fans were pictured drinking, chanting, arm-wrestling and having kickabouts in the centre of the west German city on Sunday.

England go into the tournament among the favourites, but lost their last warm-up game to Iceland on Friday.

Traditional heavyweights Germany, Italy and Spain have all made winning starts to the Euros, with the hosts thrashing Scotland 5-1 on Friday night in the tournament curtain-raiser.

Some 300,000 England fans are thought to have made the trip to Germany for the Euros, although only a minority of those will be in the stadium itself on Sunday night.

Read more: England fans warned of 'violence-seeking Serbian hooligans' ahead of 'high-risk' Euros opener

Read more: England fans to be served low-alcohol beer at first Euros game against Serbia deemed 'high risk' due to 'hooligan fans'

England fans in Heinrich-Konig-Platz in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2024.
England fans in Heinrich-Konig-Platz in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2024. Picture: Alamy
England fan Terry Rose (right) in Heinrich-Konig-Platz in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2024.
England fan Terry Rose (right) in Heinrich-Konig-Platz in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2024. Picture: Alamy
England fans in Heinrich-Konig-Platz in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2024.
England fans in Heinrich-Konig-Platz in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2024. Picture: Alamy

England fans were warned ahead of the Euros of 500 “violence-seeking Serbian hooligans” expected to attend the Sunday night game.

England’s recent Euros campaigns have been plagued with violence, most notably before their opening game in France in 2016 against Russia and ahead of the final of the last tournament

There appears to have been little trouble so far in the build-up, although one England fan was arrested and then released after a dispute with a fellow supporter.

Before the tournament there was some debate about the longstanding 'Ten German Bombers' song, with fans warned by German authorities that they faced arrest if they chanted it.

Serbian fans cheer ahead the Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Serbian fans cheer ahead the Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). Picture: Alamy

Despite this, fans have been seen singing the chant, and there were even reports some German locals saw the funny side and joined in.

Meanwhile Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wished Gareth Southgate and his men good luck before the game.

England fans in Gelsenkirchen. England take on Serbia tomorrow in their UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Saturday June 15, 2024.
England fans in Gelsenkirchen. England take on Serbia tomorrow in their UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture date: Saturday June 15, 2024. Picture: Alamy

Arsenal fan Sir Keir said: "There is no feeling like the build up to the first England game of an international tournament: the pubs filling up, the flags waving, the nerves and excitement building.

"As fans up and down the country get ready for kick off, I want to wish Gareth and the team all the best on behalf of the Labour Party.

"We will be with you for every twist, turn and VAR decision. England is behind you. Make it a summer to remember."

Elsewhere in Germany, a man was shot by police in Hamburg on Saturday after brandishing a knife and a molotov cocktail close to a fan zone for Dutch fans. He is being treated for his injuries.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Will Bayley and Strictly partner Janette Manrara

Strictly star slams 'lack of duty of care' on the show as series left him with ‘horrific’ injury he’ll ‘never get over’

Donald Trump thinks Joe Biden never had Covid

Trump claims Biden 'never had COVID' and the president wanted to ‘get out’ ever since pair clashed at debate

King's Cross.

Great British Railways should be the start of a new era for our country’s transport network, which everyone can get behind

The woman cries out in pain as she's bitten by the horse

Tourist who posed for photo next to King's Guard horse gets bitten before collapsing to the ground in pain

Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 US Presidential race

Joe Biden's most embarrassing gaffes: Five of the president's worst moments

Nigel Farage described Joe Biden as "incompetent"

Nigel Farage says Joe Biden is ‘past his sell-by date’ and US election is all but ‘lost’

Mountain rescuers want hikers to make sure they stay within their ability level

Mountain rescuers issue warning to novice walkers after spate of panic attacks

The tragedy happened at Carton railway station in Sydney, Australia

Father and toddler killed after pram carrying twins hit by train after falling onto tracks

Live
Vice President Harris Holds Campaign Event In Maryland On Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Being Overturned

Follow live: Top Dems back Harris and donations surge after Biden quits race

A boy was pronounced dead at the scene in Ladbroke Grove

Boy, 15, shot dead during ‘family dun day’ at London park - as six arrested

The collision - involving two vehicles - happened on the A61 Barnsley Road between Staincross, Barnsley, and Newmillerdam, Wakefield

Six people - including two children - die after horror crash between car and motorbike

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses his VP Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris promises to do 'everything in her power' to defeat Donald Trump after Joe Biden drops out of race

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden

Jill Biden breaks silence with short emotional tribute to husband Joe after he drops out of Presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting  2024 US presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting 2024 US presidential race

President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 Presidential Race and has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic Nominee.

Kamala Harris says she is running for President in first statement since Joe Biden's shock withdrawal

Joe Biden (l) and Kamala Harris (r)

As Joe Biden steps aside who replaces him as the Democrat candidate to take on Trump and what happens now?