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England fans hail win over Wales as Northern Ireland pull off historic victory

Published 16/06/2016

England supporters with a cut-out of The Queen during the Euro 2016 match in Lens
England supporters with a cut-out of The Queen during the Euro 2016 match in Lens
Football fans at Lille train station in France
Football fans at Lille train station in France, as they board trains to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in the nearby city of Lens

England fans hailed their victory over Wales with good-natured celebrations, as Northern Ireland's followers witnessed their team register a historic 2-0 win over Ukraine.

The seventh day of Euro 2016 saw England win the battle of the home nations 2-1 in Lens, answering Gareth Bale's first-half free kick with goals from Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge.

The build-up to the game had been marred by fresh trouble involving fans and French police, but the Welsh and English supporters came together to create an electric atmosphere inside the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

After the match, England fans celebrated in nearby Lille - with some jumping into fountains outside the city's main railway station to cool off.

Meanwhile, goals from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn took Northern Ireland to their first ever European Championship finals victory, keeping alive their hopes of reaching the knock-out stage.

It emerged after the match in Lyon that a Northern Ireland fan, in his 60s, died after collapsing in the stands while watching the Group C clash.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the supporter, sitting in an upper part of the 59,000-capacity stadium, was treated by paramedics but they were unable to revive him.

Superintendent Nigel Goddard said: "Our thoughts are tragically with a second family this week mourning the devastating loss of their loved one.

"We understand the man aged in his 60s collapsed during the game and was attended to by emergency services in the Stade de Lyon.

"It is extremely sad that this is the second death of a Northern Ireland fan in France during the Euro 2016 games."

On Monday Darren Rodgers, 24, from Ballymena, died after falling off a promenade in the south coast city of Nice.

An Irish Football Association statement said it was deeply saddened to learn of the latest death.

Chief executive Patrick Nelson said: "The fan passed away as he was watching the game in the stadium. This puts any result of a football match into perspective.

"The thoughts of the board, management, players and staff are with his family and friends at this sad time."

In Lens, supporters of England and Wales applauded each other's anthems before kick-off.

Following violence in Lille on Wednesday night, UK police confirmed 13 Britons were some of the 36 arrested in the city after flares and bangers were lit as officers charged at chanting fans, spraying tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

A further two Britons were arrested in Lens.

Ahead of the game, FA chief executive Martin Glenn urged all supporters to be "respectful", asking them to remember French police are also dealing with the bigger issue of a terror threat.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "My message is that the French are trying to deal with a real security threat - behave responsibly. Come to enjoy the game, but just have a think about the wider position."

His comments came before French officials announced three Russian men had been jailed for up to two years and 20 Russians will be deported from France for their role in the violence that marred the start of the tournament.

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