Darren Adam 1am - 4am
Liverpool fans hire speedboat to get to France after their flight was cancelled
28 May 2022, 13:23 | Updated: 28 May 2022, 13:44
A group of Liverpool fans have made the journey to France in a speedboat after their flight to the country for the Champions League final was cancelled.
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Footage of the impromptu crossing was shared on social media.
The Daily Mail reports the fans had their EasyJet flight from Liverpool cancelled at the last minute.
When they were unable to get another flight or a coach, one member of the group contacted a friend who runs a boat chartering firm called Le Mourier on the island of Jersey, the paper said.
The speedboat - a 12-person Redbay Stormforce 950 - took them to Saint-Malo, from which they were able to get to Paris in time for the clash on Saturday night.
In response to the footage, the boat hire firm tweeted: "We are glad you enjoyed your voyage and wish you the very best onward journey."
They are not the only people who have resorted to less conventional means of travel.
A coach bought by a Liverpool supporter to transport dozens of fellow fans to Paris for just £1 each arrived in the city on Saturday.
Simon Wilson, a British vlogger, from Wrexham, bought the cheapest coach he could find for £5,000 to take as many fans there to avoid the "extortionate" travel fees many were facing.
Just £1 each meant around 50 supporters could go from Anfield to the French capital in time for the game.
"It's one of the toughest things I've ever done, setting off on Thursday morning, I never thought it would take as long as it did," he said.
"Along the way there have been some worried faces, people expecting to get to Paris and thinking we wouldn't, but I always had faith, despite all the challenges we've had.
"I've never had so little sleep in all my life, I've managed a few hours, but it was worth it. Now we can soak up the atmosphere here before the game."
Mr Wilson said the original coach had to be replaced and the ferry to cross at Dover had to be pushed back as they were behind schedule.
However, after getting in to France in the early hours, the coach pushed on and made it to Paris by the afternoon.
Wilson is also known for driving a £40 Skoda to the Champions League final in Madrid in 2019.
He added: "The fees people were charged were pretty extortionate, it's shocking, so I wanted to give something back, get the fans over here.
"People want to come to Paris to watch their team, they should be able to do it without being charged so much money.
"It's all been pretty expensive, the original coach was £5,000, I then wrapped it for another £8,000 and then there's the hidden costs, it was a lot of money, but I wanted to help.
"I was always positive, I knew we would get here. I'd just like to say thanks to Revolut for making it possible."
The coach will return to the UK on Sunday after the match.
The Reds will take on 13-time winners Real Madrid at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Tens of thousands of Liverpool fans have already gathered close to the fan zone near the centre of Paris ahead of the match.
A sea of red shirts surrounded the Cours de Vincennes area in the south-east of the city, with smoke billowing into the air as flares are let off.
Supporters, largely ticketless, could be seen drinking and chanting in nearby pubs with traffic brought to a standstill.
Footballs were being kicked into the air and banners flown.
A heavy police presence is in the area, including armed officers.
A local police spokesman said no arrests were made on Friday evening.
Some of the fans in Paris started drinking at 7am on Saturday, with one talking of being "smashed" by 12pm.
John Racks, 39, from the Wirral, Merseyside, said: "Yeah, the drinking started early, the sun's out now and it's getting to my head a bit.
"I'd like to say at nearly 40 I'm careful but I kind of got lost and started drinking this morning, now I'm smashed.
"The atmosphere here is boss, the city is red."
Another said: "I'm sat here on top of some statue in Paris with my mates, there's nothing more you need.
"Just a few beers and hopefully a win for the Reds, lovely."