Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Euro 2016 bravery award for Hampshire policeman

PC Stuart Dickerson (right) Image copyright Hampshire police
Image caption PC Stuart Dickerson (r) said the scenes in Marseille had been likened to the zombie film World War Z

A policeman has been given a bravery award for helping save the life of an England fan who was attacked by Russia supporters during Euro 2016.

Andrew Bache, 51, from Portsmouth, was assaulted ahead of England's match against Russia in Marseille on 11 June.

Mr Bache remains in a rehabilitation unit after suffering head injuries.

PC Stuart Dickerson, who was on attachment in France from Hampshire Constabulary, said he would never forget his "life-changing deployment".

'World War Z'

He said he saw "about 150 Russian hooligans who were clearly trained in fighting", wearing boxing gloves and gum-shields, and carrying metal bars and other weapons.

"It was like a load of locusts going through a cornfield. They were just randomly assaulting any England fan that was in their path," he said.

"People have described the scene as [the zombie film] World War Z.

"I witnessed people being stamped on, bottles hitting over their head, iron bars across their head, chairs thrown at them."

PC Dickerson said he came across a French policeman performing CPR on Mr Bache and took over first aid, allowing the French officers to rejoin their unit.

Image copyright Kevin Day
Image caption French prosecutors said Andrew Bache had been hit around the head by Russians armed with iron bars

He said he had to get officers to put a protective cordon around him with their shields.

"We didn't really think about ourselves at the time, it was more about helping Mr Bache," he said.

A friend of Mr Bache, Crispin Harwood, said he "only had admiration" for PC Dickerson and the French officers.

"Without them we may have been looking at a different outcome. On behalf of Andrew's friends and family, I thank them from the bottom of my heart."

He said Mr Bache was currently in a rehabilitation unit receiving physiotherapy.

"No-one wants to see anyone going through what he's gone through - he's working really hard and getting there slowly."

PC Dickerson has been presented with a Royal Humane Society commendation by Hampshire Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney.

She said he played a "key role" in saving Mr Bache's life.

The injured fan was reported to have suffered severe brain injuries and a cardiac arrest and had to be put in an induced coma.

The officer said he was glad Mr Bache was making "slow but steady progress" in his recovery.

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