Migrants hide in England fans’ camper van – but run away when they realise which way it’s heading

Ben Dolan, 24, Matthew Browne, 25, Tristan Dallison, 22 and Fin Mcgregor, 24, had stopped at a supermarket in Calais when the guests entered the camper
Ben Dolan, 24, Matthew Browne, 25, Tristan Dallison, 22 and Fin Mcgregor, 24, had stopped at a supermarket in Calais when the guests entered the camper - PAUL GROVER/FOR THE TELEGRAPH

A group of England fans had some unexpected guests on their way to Germany after finding three asylum seekers hiding in their camper van.

The fans made the discovery after crossing the Channel and arriving in Calais.

Ben Dolan, 24, a factory worker, Matthew Browne, 25, a joiner, Tristan Dallison, 22 and Fin McGregor, 24, both electricians, had travelled from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

They set off on their 600-miles journey at 7am on Friday taking several trains before picking up their camper van in Luton.

After arriving in France and stopping in Calais they had headed out to the supermarket and it was only when one of them went to the toilet that they realised the van had been broken into.

“We went to the supermarket and came back to find the toilet door locked,” Mr McGregor told The Telegraph.

“There were three lads in there. They laughed and smiled and poured out of the camper van.”

He said that he was surprised they were able to get in the van as all the doors had been locked and that the men had believed they were travelling back to England.

“We checked the doors, they must have got in through the roof,” he said, adding that he felt sorry for the difficulties facing migrants trying to get to the UK.

“I understand their struggle but we were going the wrong direction.”

‘It was mental’

Mr Dolan said it had been an “an incredibly long journey, It’s been a real trek”, and described how they discovered the stowaways. “We were like the toilet’s locked,” he said. “What the f--- is going on and there were three lads in there. It was mental.

“They said hello and they were smirking and just walked away. We were on our way to Belgium and these guys could be in the toilet. We were going totally the wrong way.”

They finally arrived in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday afternoon and were among around 50,000 England fans to descend on the west German city.

Around 15,000 fans have tickets inside the stadium but UEFA is opening a special fan park for up to 40,000 England fans at a racecourse in Gelsenkirchen.

Organisers said fans “need not worry about getting hungry or thirsty” as they promised 160 metres of bar at the fan zone and said it would be the biggest bar in town.

As well as Gelsenkirchen, fans are staying in nearby Essen, Dortmund and Düsseldorf.

Risking it all for a ‘great experience’

Among those enjoying the party on Friday was Ryan Morris, 40, who had risked an unauthorised absence fine after taking son Teddy, aged 11, out of school for a fortnight to give him the experience.

The pair, from Bristol, drove to Manchester to fly out to Germany and Mr Morris said his son, who is approaching the end of Year Six, would “learn more out here than he would at school”.

“It’s a life lesson for him and will be a great experience.”

He added: “Teddy has done his SATs [Standardised Assessment Tests] so he’s not missing too much at school now.”

Others enjoying the atmosphere included Astrid Wett, 23, who flew from Munich to meet Leah Ray, 21, who she met on social media and flew out from London.

“We’re in the same sort of work being influencers and we’re good friends now. I’ve been to a few tournaments before but it’s Leah’s first time.

“It’s always good fun following England home and away. Cole Palmer’s my favourite player – I’m a Chelsea fan and I feel like he dragged that team along with him last season.”

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