ENGLAND'S 2-1 World Cup defeat to Uruguay was followed by a spike in emergency calls in Worcestershire, including assaults and alcohol-related injuries.
However, officers from West Mercia Police said there were 'no major incidents' and football fans behaved responsibility despite arrests. The contest reached a new low for England on Thursday when Liverpool and Uruguayan forward Suárez scored twice to break English hearts.
West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust experienced a rise in 999 calls after the match following an initial period of calm during the game itself.
The trust's communications director Murray MacGregor stressed it was difficult to attribute with certainty any incidents to the World Cup itself but there had been a definite spike in activity.
The evening began calmly with 11 ambulance jobs in the county between 8pm and 9pm, compared to an average of 18 jobs for the previous three Thursdays. Between 9pm and 10pm there were 12 calls, lower than the average for the last three weeks of 14 calls. But between 10pm and 11pm there was a spike in activity with 21 calls compared to an average of nine, 11 calls between 11pm and midnight, compared to an average of seven and a further 11 calls between midnight and 1pm compared to an average of nine.
Incidents included an assault outside the Strawberry Field pub in Evesham at 10.25pm which resulted in a woman being taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. There was an assault in Windermere Drive, Warndon, Worcester at 12.23am which required treatment in a minor injuries unit. In Jubilee Drive, Kidderminster ambulance crews attended a man lying on the ground with a bike and a bottle in his hand at 12.10am. A woman in her 30s was treated at the scene after she was assaulted outside Tesco Express in Evesham at 12.59am. She suffered a leg injury caused by broken glass.
Superintendent Steve Owen said: “Since the first game last Saturday there have been a total of five football-related incidents reported, resulting in four arrests being recorded throughout Warwickshire and West Mercia.
“As a result of detailed planning, high visibility policing and the co-operation of licensees, football fans have behaved responsibly and disorder has been kept to a minimum.”
Lisa Spencer, A&E manager at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester said “We knew we were likely to be busier during the World Cup when England were playing, so I made sure we had extra nurses. We had two extra for the whole night shift, and one extra on a 6pm-2am shift. The consultants did the same for the doctors.
“There were 187 attendances altogether (on June 19). And there were 107 attendances between 4pm and 2am. The nature of these attendances was varied, ranging from minor injuries, to accidents, as well as acutely unwell patients requiring urgent medical treatment.
“We saw a slight increase in alcohol related injuries and pre-match BBQ injuries, there were more than we would normally see on a week night. We also saw a slight surge in numbers after the game, due to patients holding off until it had finished to access medical treatment and advice."
Emily Hooper, Emergency Nurse Practitioner said “Since the start of the World Cup last week I have seen more football sustained injuries in children. They are playing before the game and after, resulting in injuries. Some of these children haven’t played football before, but are trying to emulate their heroes.”