Large supporters club flag 'stolen' at England game

Lynda Courts with the flag
Lynda Courts, who runs Redditch Blues, was pictured with the flag on Friday before it disappeared later [Lynda Courts]

A branch of the Birmingham City Supporters Club says its usual main England flag was stolen at Wembley during the Iceland game on Friday evening.

Redditch Blues in Worcestershire has had the flag for nine years and it was due to be taken to Germany for Euro 2024 this coming Friday.

Lynda Courts, who runs the branch, said if it was handed in anonymously, "there'd be no further action taken".

She stated a smaller flag the group takes attracts the attention of former Blues player Jude Bellingham at games, but it "won't be the same" without the larger one.

The one taken, which is 2.5m (8.2ft) by 1.5m (4.9ft), was bought after family and members of Redditch Blues started following England home and away.

Birmingham City played in Europe, following their triumph in the 2011 Carling Cup final, and that experience abroad inspired people in the group to travel to watch England.

Mrs Courts said she put the flag up before the 1-0 defeat on Friday, but was not able to see it later watching from the back of the lower tier in the stadium.

The fan found out it had disappeared, after she walked down steps at the end of the match, and was later told by a friend who collected his flag next to it on 88 minutes that the large Redditch one was not there.

England manager Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate applauded fans at the final whistle after the friendly match against Iceland at Wembley on Friday [Getty Images]

She added: "We're devastated, because it goes with us to every game. It's part of the tradition to put up the flag and for people to see on TV.

"People look for it. I post it on Facebook and people will then like the post."

She said she had posted on social media asking for its return and stated that if somebody "has the sense to hand it in anonymously, then it would be pointless replacing it".

A company has offered a replacement at some point, but Mrs Courts does not have time before Friday to take this avenue further.

Asked about England's chances at Euro 2024, she said that "after last night's [Friday's] performance, I don't know".

But the supporter pointed out that Bellingham has not played in the last two friendly matches.

"Jude Bellingham recognises that smaller [flag]... and waves when he sees me holding it.

"It's become a thing between me and Jude. [In 2021] he gave me his San Marino shirt when we were in San Marino and won 10-nil."

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