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Football crazy, we're all football mad

PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

WHAT a celebration. England is going football crazy and so was Ipswich after we made a meal out of the Danes.

After fans - in their hundreds - had left the pubs, clubs and even television shops - they seemed to have one united place in mind to continue sharing their jubilation at the 3-0 defeat of the Danes.

WHAT a celebration. England is going football crazy and so was Ipswich after we made a meal out of the Danes.

After fans – in their hundreds – had left the pubs, clubs and even television shops – they seemed to have one united place in mind to continue sharing their jubilation at the 3-0 defeat of the Danes. That place was Ipswich Cornhill.

The town centre had been given over for the day to a special charity event, the Fair in the Square organised for volunteer, charitable and support groups to promote their activities.

But after the final whistle and the throng left the big screens, the town centre drew them like a magnet and the party continued on the fair's doorstep – and on the roof of its giant marquee.

Celebration was expected, taking chances such as scaling the big top was putting the reveller at risk of not seeing any more football if he had fallen.

Nina Grunberg, representing People at the Centre of Ipswich on a stand at the fair, said: "We had already been warned by the police that they were expecting football supporters to head to the Cornhill after the match, so we weren't all that shocked when hundreds of them turned up waving flags and cheering.

"In fact, we really appreciated them coming over to the fair. They were in such good spirits, and given that we hadn't been watching the game, it really helped us to feel part of the celebrations."

She confirmed that one happy fan had climbed to the top of the marquee to show his excitement.

"One man climbed to the top of the marquee and sat up there waving his flag," Nina confirmed.

"We moved out for a while in case he fell through, but it was fine and he came to no harm."

She added: "It was a great atmosphere and people of all ages were out celebrating at the centre of the town."

With the Danes out of the way and next quarter final only four days away the partying looks set to only gather momentum.

Despite the crowds, the colourful red and white army behaved themselves overall, police – of which there was a strong presence – reported nothing untoward resulting from the gathering.

A Suffolk police spokesman, said: "although we had been to a few minor incidents in and around the town there was no real trouble anywhere."

This was in stark contrast to elsewhere in the country where areas reported dozens of football supporters arrested for causing trouble.

Landlords in Essex shut their pubs for two hours to help calm down celebrations, said a police spokeswoman.

Between 200 and 300 fans blocked the High Street in Colchester, following the match.

"To alleviate the problem local licensees were advised and complied with the closing of their premises between 5pm and 7pm," she said.

Celebrations around the county were, "busy but relatively peaceful', said the spokeswoman.

Eight arrests were made in Essex, seven for assault and one for drunkenness.

In Staffordshire, an investigation is underway after about 120 officers in riot gear had to be called in when post-match celebrations turned violent in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday.

More than 100 fans hurled missiles at the officers in two hours of violence there and 16 people were arrested before order was restored, police said.

In Plymouth, 54 people were arrested between noon yesterday and 6am today in mainly alcohol-related incidents, said a Devon and Cornwall force spokesman.

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