Millwall fans raise thousands to repair ambulance car trashed during World Cup celebrations

Chiara Giordano (09 July, 2018) Crime Emergency services

The car's windscreen and wing mirror were smashed and its bonnet was dented after crowds surrounded it in Borough High Street

23319A London Ambulance Service car was damaged during World Cup celebrations in Borough High Street (London Ambulance Service)

Millwall FC fans have raised thousands of pounds to repair a paramedic car trashed during World Cup celebrations in Borough.

The windscreen and wing mirror of the car were smashed and the bonnet was dented after revellers climbed on top of it while celebrating England’s win over Sweden in Borough High Street on Saturday evening.

After seeing a picture London Ambulance Service (LAS) tweeted of the damage, members of Millwall Supporters’ Club put their heads together and came up with a plan to help.

They set up an online fundraising page to help contribute £5,000 towards the repairs – but it smashed its target within 24 hours and is now edging closer to £10,000.

Michael Avery, vice chair of Millwall Supporters’ Club, said he felt “just general disappointment” at what happened on his club’s “patch” in Borough.

“The whole country has come together for this World Cup and for them to behave like that was totally unacceptable,” said the 31-year-old Lions fan, who grew up in Bermondsey.

“Even though Millwall fans and other clubs weren’t involved we felt like there was an obligation to help and we are the closest club to London Bridge.

“It did cross my mind the irony of it that we had all of that [with the London Bridge terror attack] last year where it was such an atrocity and the country came together in unfortunate circumstances and for a vehicle that would have helped on that day to be damaged like that is very disappointing.

“Millwall fans are quite fond of Borough as an area as well, which is why I think a lot of them jumped in to help.”

The assistant facilities manager said he hoped the gesture would help dispel the longstanding negative stereotype of the club, which was named family club of the year in 2017.

“Unfortunately there’s still a negative stereotype attached to the club no matter how hard we try but now people are thinking ‘these aren’t the people we thought they were in the 70s or 80s, they are good people trying to help out’,” he said.

“It’s been really heart-warming actually; we are very, very humbled.”

Michael Avery, vice chair of Millwall Supporters’ Club

Michael, who set up the fundraising page with Millwall Supporters’ Club chair Kathryn Gale, said any money raised over the £5,000 target would be donated to London Ambulance Service.

Garrett Emmerson, chief executive of London Ambulance Service, thanked Millwall fans for organising the fundraising campaign, saying: “This very thoughtful gesture from the Millwall Supporters’ Club to help pay for the repairs to the damaged vehicle means a lot to me and our staff.”

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Images of those alleged to have been involved in the incident have been circulated on social media.

However Metropolitan Police told the News no arrests had been made and detectives were attempting to find those responsible for the damage.

“Detectives from Southwark are investigating and are aware of images circulating via social media,” said a police spokesman. “Enquiries are underway to trace those involved.

“Officers advise anyone with information – or anyone who may have damaged the London Ambulance Service vehicle – to make contact with Southwark CID via 101 quoting ref 5683/7July.”

To donate to Millwall Supporters’ Group’s fundraising appeal, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/millwallsupportersclub

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