England band’s instruments confiscated ahead of game – BBC REPORT

The England Supporters Band were unable to play at the team’s first 2012 European Championship game after having their instruments confiscated at the stadium in Ukraine.

Band leader John Hemmingham said Monday’s match against France was the first time the group had not played at an England game in 16 years.

The Sheffield-based band said it was working with the Football Association (FA) to resolve the issue.

The FA said it did not want to comment.

At football stadiums around the world there are often bans on certain items from being brought into the ground, sometimes including musical instruments, but the band thought arrangements had been made for them to be allowed in with their brass instruments and drums.

Mr Hemmingham said: “The FA had done all of the necessary agreements but it was overturned at the last minute.

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It was kind of weird, fans were asking where our instruments were”

End Quote John Hemmingham Band leader

“We got ready to play half an hour before kick-off and then stewards came up to us and said, ‘no, we’ve made a mistake you have to take the instruments out now, you can’t play’.

“We had to put our instruments in storage.”

The band, which provides music to add atmosphere to each England match, sat throughout the game at the stadium in Donetsk, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

“It was kind of weird,” Mr Hemmingham said. “Fans were asking where our instruments were.”

Mr Hemmingham, who founded the band in 1993 when members played during Sheffield Wednesday games, said the band was due to meet with the FA and the stadium management to resolve the issue before England’s game on Friday against Sweden.

“We’ve been all over the world – different countries and tournaments,” added Mr Hemmingham.

A spokesman for the FA and it would not comment on the matter until discussions had taken place.

KO

If this story has any link to England playing better I hope the band get banned for the rest of the tournament.

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