People drowned their sorrows in pubs up and down the country as their dreams were shattered after three weeks of historic goal-scoring, celebrations and lifted spirits.
But chaos ensued as the heartache turned to fury and brawls spilled onto the streets between intoxicated revellers in Birmingham and Liverpool.
England fans in London were reduced to tears after their team came crashing out of the World Cup tournament against Croatia
England fans simply sat down on the kerb and in the road in Broad Street, Birmingham, once the game ended
Fans were pictured in cities across the UK including Birmingham with flags draped across their backs as their hopes were crushed
Emergency services called for calm as people across Birmingham needed the help of police and paramedics
Girls who had earlier screamed their team on from Hyde Park in London consoled one another after the 2-1 defeat in Moscow
Earlier in the evening there was an air of anxiety and excitement for what was England’s first World Cup semi-final since 1990.
But England lost to Croatia in a nail-biting showdown in Moscow watched on television by almost half the UK population.
Fans were left devastated as Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic scored a second goal to take the lead in the second half of extra time and streets were filled with people holding their head in their hands after the 2-1 loss.
Thousands were seen sitting dejected on the ground in Hyde Park, London, which held a huge public screening of Croatia v England at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.
The game in Moscow was screened in Hyde Park and marked the biggest London screening of a football match since 1996.
Not alone in their sorrow, the England players also shared their heartbreak while captain Harry Kane paid tribute to fans.
Sharing a picture of himself with manager Southgate, he wrote: ‘It hurts a lot. It will hurt for a while. We’ll be back. Thanks for all your support.’
Despite the outcome, social media users have now called for the team to take part in a victory parade.
But the despair soon turned to anger as fans became embroiled in a mass brawl outside a city centre pub in the aftermath of the England defeat.
Men and women threw furious punches outside the Cat and the Fiddle pub in Great Barr, Birmingham just minutes after the final whistle of the World Cup semi-final.
Fans watched a live broadcast on a big screen of the semi-final match between Croatia and England in Flat Iron Square, London and cried as Croatia scored their second goal
Devastation: Men and women were left in tears as their World Cup dreams were shattered
There were chaotic scenes as many jumped in the canals just off the bustling street, egged on by hundreds of onlookers in Birmingham
In Birmingham, fans who had hoped to be celebrating by the end of the night instead drank their sorrows away
The number of 999 calls has skyrocketed since Croatia’s victory over England, the Assistant Chief at West Midlands Ambulance Service
The service said it had taken over 240 emergency calls in the first hour since the football finished, compared to just 120 when fans were placated by the match
Assistant Chief officer Nathan Hudson branded the number of assaults and large scale fights as ‘madness’ in a tweet shortly after the game
West Midlands Ambulance service said it was dealing with a huge rise in violence after the final whistle as it was called to the aftermath of assaults and fights in the wake of England’s World Cup exit
West Midlands Ambulance Service urged football fans across the region to ‘show dignity and respect’ after trouble sparked
Unable to celebrate, revellers in Birmingham simply took to the streets and instead climbed traffic lights in protest
An ambulance spokesman wrote on Twitter: ‘Come on West Midlands, show some dignity & respect towards each other! ‘Look how our 999 calls have rocketed after the final whistle with numerous assaults & fights reported. ‘Our England team have been gracious in defeat, fans should be too respect’
While fans in Croatia were celebrating making it through to their first ever World Cup final, their counterparts in Birmingham walked along crestfallen
Chaos ensued as the heartache turned to fury and brawls broke out among intoxicated revellers outside pubs in Birmingham
Several men went in for a swim in Birmingham city centre’s canal after England’s defeat
Fans were oblivious to danger as they launched themselves into the canal and scaled traffic lights
A massive wave of violence swept the city in Birmingham as people turned to alcohol following the defeat
Fans reacted to England’s defeat to Croatia in Birmingham with looks of mere despair and desolation
England fans struggled to hide their anguish as the game went to a draw and the extra time whistle blew. Fans were left gutted in Nottingham Castle (left) and Flat Iron Square (right)
One fan in Birmingham was pulled out of a canal following the match after apparently jumping in as a reaction to the defeat
Draped in their flags, downcast fans didn’t know what to do with themselves as they watched the Croatian team go through to the final
England fans were united in their pain after Wednesday night’s heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia
Youngsters in their England shirts sat beside the road looking utterly despondent in Birmingham city centre
One woman was helped out of the water after she jumped into the Birmingham city centre canal after the match
Hanging their heads: The melancholy spread across Birmingham yesterday evening as the blow hit fans hard
Rather than waving their flags with pride, people were forced to use them as tissues and consolatory blankets
Crushed: Fans consoled one another in London’s Hyde Park, which showed the game on a giant screen
Crushed England fans woke up wishing last night was a bad dream after the Three Lions crashed out of the World Cup
West Midlands Ambulance service said it dealt with a huge rise in violence as it was called to the aftermath of assaults and fights in the wake of England’s World Cup exit.
In footage from the fight in Birmingham dozens of fans looked on in horror as men and women swung for each other. Several punters try to hold each other back from getting involved in the violence, but it then breaks up into several smaller fights.
On nearby Broad Street, cones were kicked over in anger as enraged fans spilled out from bars and into the city.
Additional footage revealed chaotic scenes as many jumped in the canals just off the bustling street, egged on by hundreds of onlookers. Others took to climbing traffic lights and lampposts after the loss.
And the number of 999 calls skyrocketed since Croatia’s victory over England, the Assistant Chief at West Midlands Ambulance Service said.
The service said it had taken over 240 emergency calls in the first hour since the football finished, compared to just 120 when fans were placated by the match.
Assistant Chief officer Nathan Hudson branded the number of assaults and large scale fights as ‘madness’ in a tweet shortly after the game.
West Midlands Ambulance Service urged football fans across the region to ‘show dignity and respect’ after trouble sparked.
A spokesperson wrote: ‘Come on West Midlands, show some dignity & respect towards each other! Look how our 999 calls have rocketed after the final whistle with numerous assaults & fights reported. Our @England team have been gracious in defeat, fans should be too £respect.’
People drowned their sorrows in pubs up and down the country as their dreams were shattered after three weeks of historic goal-scoring, celebrations and lifted spirits
Intoxicated fans were seen scaling traffic lights and blocking traffic in Birmingham
Fans were left devastated as Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic scored a second goal to take the lead in the second half of extra time and streets were filled with people holding their head in their hands after the 2-1 loss
Revellers decided to drown their sorrows by climbing up traffic lights and screaming at passing vehicles
In a further blow to fans, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic rubbed salt in their wounds when he said his side were better ‘in all segments of the game’ as they won their World Cup semi-final against England
Fans at the Castlefield Bowl in Manchester city centre were noticeably dejected after England’s defeat
The heartbreak was palpable as fans slumped to the floor and hung their heads following the match
The game in Moscow was screened in Hyde Park and marked the biggest London screening of a football match since 1996!
This was the scene in south London when Croatia scored their second goal, in the second half of the game
Camden Lock in north London was brought to a standstill as people watched anxiously – many holding their breath
One grief-stricken fan clutched his replica World Cup as the Three Lions came crashing out of the tournament
Angry fans threw bottles and trays at The Gerard Arms pub in St Helens, Merseyside, as England went into extra time.
The pub was forced to close at 10pm after police were called and a woman was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
Following the incident the pub released a statement, condemning the ‘mindless thuggery’.
They said: ‘Not in our lifetime did we think our country would get so close to a World Cup win and in doing so we had to back it by providing a fan zone to watch it as we can legally hold such capacities.
‘The atmosphere, bar on the 120th minute last night, has been absolutely outstanding.
‘Please ignore all the rumours, factually, bar last night, all England games have been incident free.
‘What we cannot plan for is one case of sporadic mindless thuggery. Unfortunately a fight broke out as England were knocked out and we immediately closed the bar and we tried our best to contain the incident.’
One customer described the scenes as ‘An absolute war zone.’
Merseyside Police said: ‘We arrested a woman on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly following reports of a disturbance at a bar in St Helens last night.
‘Officers were called to the Gerrard Arms Hotel on Dentons Green shortly after 9.40pm to a report there was a group involved in an altercation at the premises, during which glasses and bottles were reportedly thrown. No reports of assault were received and the venue closed at 10pm.’
People put their hands to their face as they watched the nail-biting and tense match
Fans at the Castlefield Bowl in Manchester city centre are dejected after England’s defeat
People could not hide their disappointment in Flat Iron Square, south London on Wednesday evening
London’s Hyde Park was left strewn with litter and heartbroken fans in the wake of the 2-1 loss
Fans in south London were left weeping as the Croatian team celebrated their victory
England fans make their way home from Birmingham city centre as Croatia beat England
People covered their faces with their patriotic flags as they watched the tension play out on the pitch
Scenes were less jubilant when Croatia equalised in the second half and as the whistle blew for extra time the tension was palpable
Fans watched anxiously as the Croatian team scored a second goal to take the lead in the second half of extra time thanks to Mario Mandzukic
Joy was replaced with tears when England came crashing out of the tournament in Russia
Streets were filled with upset fans and people with their head in their hands after the 2-1 loss
England came to a standstill as 30million tuned in to watch Harry Kane ‘s heroes take on Croatia in the semi-final
In a further blow to fans, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic rubbed salt in their wounds when he said his side were better ‘in all segments of the game’ as they won their World Cup semi-final against England.
Asked why his side had won, Dalic said: ‘Because we were the better team in all segments of the game.
‘We did not underestimate them. We respected them because we analysed them. We knew what they were doing and where.’
Dalic thanked Croatia’s fans and players for their efforts in securing the historic win, setting up Sunday’s encounter with France – the team that knocked them out of their previous World Cup semi-final in 1998.
Fans packed out Hyde Park (pictured) where 30,000 people were watching the match together
Big screens were up and running across London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Leeds, Bristol and Brighton
Nottingham: A man sat silent on the curb after the 120-minute whistle blew ending the game at 2-1 to Croatia – and with it – England’s hopes of World Cup glory
Fans’ anguish: Men sat in silence along the roadside in Nottingham just hours after jubilant scenes in the English city
Disappointment for England as Gareth Southgate’s team failed to secure the win the fans had desperately hoped for at home. Pictured: Flat Iron Square in London
England fans burst into tears after the game tonight, with one face-painted man quick to comfort his companion watching at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol
The 2-1 loss was too much for this fan in the Luzhniki Stadium as he burst into tears after the final whistle
Another woman in Liverpool was slumped up against a wall after the defeat as a friend stood over her
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.