Flashback: Euro ‘96 stars hit Gants Hill nightclub hours after drawing tournament’s first game

Faces nightclub in Cranbrook Road, circa 1996.

Faces nightclub in Cranbrook Road, circa 1996. - Credit: Archant

As Euro fever grips the nation, we take a look back at this week 20 years ago, when a trio of England stars were condemned for visiting a Gants Hill nightclub just hours after they drew the tournament’s opening game with Switzerland.

The antics of three lions stars Teddy Sheringham, Jamie Redknapp and Sol Campbell were widely criticised in the national press when they were spotted at Faces, in Cranbrook Road, less than four hours after the final whistle of a dull 1-1 draw with Switzerland at Wembley.

However, staff at the popular nightclub defended the behaviour of the footballers, denying any of them had drunk excessively and that there was no bad behaviour.

Faces bar manager Colin Neale pointed out they were well within their rights to go for a drink after the game.

He said: “No one got drunk. They just came in for a quiet drink and stood at the bar drinking.

“Teddy, Sol and Jamie are all local boys and they come here from time to time.”

Faces owner Tony Bee added: “They only had two or three beers. There was no wild dancing - they were just standing chatting with friends.

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“They weren’t rolling around drunk, they were only doing what any sportsman would do on a Saturday night.”

Ilford South MP and football fan Mike Gapes, who was at Wembley to see the game that day, agreed.

He said: “I was disappointed by the result but after a hard game of football I think they were entitled to go out.

“Their next game was not until a week later. Are they supposed to be locked up in solitary confinement for the whole championships? I am very pleased they came to Ilford.”

England’s Euro 2016 campaign kicks off at 8pm tomorrow against Russia.