Huge clean-up after football fans leave trail of debris through central London

A large clean-up operation has been carried out in central London to sweep away debris left by football supporters on Sunday night.

England fans descended on public spaces, including Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, in their thousands ahead of the Euro 2020 final full of hope and anticipation.

But after the crushing penalty shootout defeat to Italy, fans filtered away dejected before teams of street cleaners worked overnight to clear away the trail of beer bottles and cans left in their wake.

Street cleaners clear debris in London’s Leicester Square the morning after England were beaten in the final of the UEFA Euro 2020
Street cleaners clear debris in London’s Leicester Square (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

As the work neared its end in a mostly deserted Leicester Square on Monday morning, a handful of England fans who had stayed the night in the capital put aside their national rivalries and tucked into full English breakfasts in Italian cafes nearby.

Waiting staff praised the police response on Sunday and said fans did not cause trouble.

Helal Mohamed, 28, a waiter at Little Italy on the corner of Leicester Square thanked the police for their work throughout the day.

“Yesterday in the morning it was a bit busy but in the afternoon it was very, very busy. There were guys in front of the Odeon cinema and then they came here,” he said.

“We were thinking if England win it’s going to be like ‘boom’.”

A football fan tumbles over a rubbish bin as they party in Piccadilly Circus, London
A football fan tumbles over a rubbish bin as they party in Piccadilly Circus, London (Aaron Chown/PA)

Asked if he had been concerned about working at Little Italy following the English defeat at the hands of the Azzurri, he replied: “Last night it was good and the police were working very hard. I’d like to say thank you to the police.”

Ana Ortin-Guillen, 19, who works next door at Ristorante Roma, said the atmosphere had been “crazy”.

“I was working all day yesterday from eight until 11,” she said.

“(Fans) started drinking around nine, it was so crazy, I swear to God. They were asking for beer… Leicester Square was full.

“The police came, to try and calm them down. Everything was OK, there was no trouble.”

“I was surprised because I thought they were going to be really, really mad, but no.

“They were still drinking, still crazy.”

Metropolitan Police said 49 people had been arrested by officers policing the game on Sunday.

Nineteen officers had been hurt while carrying out their duties evening, the force added.