Revealed: Three Lions fan forced to apologise for scrawling ‘England’ in red face paint on Russian footballer statue is the son of the Queen Mother’s former equerry
- Rufus Hall, 20, was arrested in Russia after vandalising a monument in Moscow
- He wrote ‘England’ in red letters on a statue of Spartak legend Fyodor Cherenkov
- It has emerged he is the son of one of the late Queen Mother’s former equerry
Pictured: Student Rufus Hall, 20, was forced to apology on camera by Russian police
An England fan who vandalised a monument honouring a dead Russian footballer is the son of the Queen Mother’s former equerry, it has been revealed.
Embarrassed Rufus Hall, 20, is flying back to Britain with a red face after being fined £35 by a Moscow Court for scrawling ‘ENGLAND’ in red paint on the statue.
The university student was forced to publicly apologise in a YouTube video posted by Russian Police.
It has emerged the business management undergrad is the son of Niall Hall, a former captain in the Irish Guards.
Mr Hall Snr served as an equerry to the late Queen Mother at Clarence House in London in the eighties.
He told The Telegraph he son was ‘mortified’ about the incident which has attracted widespread criticism online.
Mr Hall, 57, told the paper: ‘He feels very stupid. He is extremely remorseful. He is feeling very sorry for himself and on his way home in accordance with his plans. Nobody has been physically hurt. He really does deeply regret it.’
‘Mortified’: Rufus’s father Niall Hall, pictured above, said his son was embarrassed about the ordeal. Mr Hall Snr was the late Queen Mother’s equerry, pictured right in a procession in 2018
Last night Rufus issued a grovelling apology stating: ‘I am so sorry, I feel embarrassed.
‘I love this country, for the two days I’ve been here your people have been welcoming,’ Mr Hall added.
‘We had lovely time. I would never disrespect the country.
‘I respect history, and have I known these words offend people I would never have done it, and I wholly apologise.’
Photos appeared online of the defaced statue before the match. Other England fans are said to have tried to wash away the graffiti, which left a red smear on the bronze statue.
Rufus Hall was arrested after writing the word ‘England’ in large red letters on the statue of Fyodor Cherenkov
Cherenkov, who died in 2014 aged just 55, is dear to Spartak fans as their record appearance holder and a player who came through the youth team to spend practically his whole career at the club.
The incident drew a furious response online.
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Many users on Twitter threatened violence. One, responding to a photo shared of the alleged offender, wrote: ‘Beat him. It’s an order.’ Another said darkly: ‘We are waiting in Samara.’
Cherenkov, who died in 2014 aged just 55, is dear to Spartak fans as their record appearance holder
It was unclear if he had been punished by Russian police over the incident, but they would have had the power to detain him for up to 15 days, or fine him, or impose up to 160 hours hard labour.
Earlier a statement said: ‘Police is carrying out a check regarding daubing on a monument next to Spartak stadium.
‘As a result of search operation, the person who did this was found and detained.’
The host nation’s leading sports newspaper, Sport-Express, last night condemned the act of vandalism but their reporter at the match called for no retaliation, adding: ‘I appeal to all the fans – especially those of Spartacus – not all of the English are cattle. The vast majority of those who came to us are normal, educated people.’
Igor Lebedev, a Russian MP, said: ‘Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. This is not some political act, it’s just the doing of a hooligan, which every country has.
‘England fans are not the most disciplined in the world, but at the same time we have had no special problems with them here.
Mr Hall was attending England’s round of 16 knockout match against Colombia on Tuesday
‘It is said that the British washed the inscription left by the compatriot’ a Twitter account called ‘Russian Ultras’ posted
‘Perhaps for every fan of Soviet football, a monument to an outstanding footballer has been desecrated, but it is just an act of hooliganism.
‘I wouldn’t even apply criminal charges. Smile at them, erase the inscription and restore the moment. It will remain on their conscience.’
However, many online have not been so forgiving.
‘These idiots must be found, have their fan passports confiscated and be publicly expelled from the country in shame,’ read one comment.
‘What did Cherenkov do to offend them?’ said another. ‘Or are they offended by life?’
‘This is the same drunken idiotic trick as (the England fan who) saluted Hitler in Volgograd,’ added another. ‘When people get drunk they have their brain cut off.’
England will face Sweden in the quarter-final in Samara on Saturday amid fears that a tournament which has so far passed peacefully could now turn violent.
Russian hooligans clashed with England supporters in Marseille at Euro 2016, leading to so far unfounded fears that there would be further trouble at this World Cup.
England fans celebrate after the Three Lions beat Colombia on penalties to reach the quarter finals of the World Cup
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