Fans in Leeds' Millennium Square react as England lose World Cup semi-final to Croatia

It was tears for England fans in Leeds as Gareth Southgate's men bowed out of the World Cup with a narrow 2-1 loss to Croatia after extra time.

Thursday, 12th July 2018, 10:23 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:09 pm

It all looked like it was going so well for England after Kieran Trippier put England 1-0 up from an inch-perfect free-kick inside the first five minutes.

But it wasn't to be as goals in the second half and extra time just put the game past England.

Fans in Leeds' Millennium Square went berserk after the first goal, but sadly the scenes of jubiliation wouldn't be seen again.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The atmosphere was electric at the city centre big screen venue as the England went 1-0 up in the first half in their biggest game for 28 years.

Tensions rose after Croatia equalised in the second-half before England fans’ hopes of cheering their team on in the final against France on Sunday were dashed when Croatia went 2-1 up to win the game in extra time.

Chants of Yorkshire and England erupted along with renditions of the Three Lions song as fans prepared to watch the game.

IT consultant Ben Johnson, 28, of Headingley said: “I have come here for the atmosphere.


“It’s better than sitting at home on your sofa on your own. Everyone here lives and breathes it together.”

Police officer Jack Pattison, 26, of Wetherby, said: “It’s good to be around a big crowd and get properly in amongst it.

“I was expecting us to get to the quarter finals and I wasn’t really thinking beyond that to be honest.”

Accounts assistant Debra Lane, 52, of Churwell, said: “England are a dynamic team and they bond as a team. I think that’s why they have got as far as they have.”

England fans anxiously watch the game in Leeds

Kitchen fitter Darren Hirst, 54, of Crossgates, said: “I went to see the England V Costa Rica friendly at Elland Road and they played like a team, which they haven’t done in the past.”

“The players from Yorkshire have probably been the best in the team. Harry Maguire has been a revelation.”

Delivery driver Lee Keedy, 38, of East End Park was watching the game with girlfriend Paula Bowes and their children Ella, aged nine, and 13-year-old Tia.

Mr Keedy said: “We wanted to sample the atmosphere and support the team. They have played very well, better than expected.” Ella said: “They have been extraordinary.”

England fans anxiously watch the game in Leeds

Beauty therapist Beth Harrison, 25, of Bramley, said: “It’s more exciting watching it here, it’s a great atmosphere.”

Meanwhile, Wakefield-based pundit Chris Kamara, a former Bradford City and Leeds United player, posted a video of himself on a bus with several of the players’ family members, after he “nicked a lift to the stadium”.

Kamara said: “Thanks Jordan’s Mum Mrs Pickford for getting me on.”

Here's what you said after the defeat:

Will Hopper said on Twitter: "Waaaaay too negative all game long. Constantly passing ball back to keeper. Best chance we’ll ever have to win a World Cup and we’ve blown it #SameOldEngland"

Bob Westerdale: "Congratulations on exceeding expectations England. You'll be a hell of a team in a year or 2. #eng England 1 Croatia 2."

England fans anxiously watch the game in Leeds

Rachel Nicole: "The England lads have done us so proud to get us to the semi’s! They’re all winners to us! #ENG"

Rachel Crosby: "So gutted for the English footy team.. They had the most of the world on there shoulders expecting and now blaming ... These men have give us more excitement than most husbands/partner in 3 short weeks... I'm proud to be a Endland supporter to say them men made our country proud. Not only did they play the game they played each game respectfully. I'm proud of my country today 3 lions come home keep smiling"

Tweet your thoughts to @leedsnews and @yorkshirepost

England fans anxiously watch the game in Leeds