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Desperate Liverpool fans charter speedboat and buy own coach to reach Champions League final in Paris

Thirteen Liverpool fans have used a speedboat in a desperate bid to get to France for the Champions League final after their easyJet flight was cancelled.

It comes as football fans and families embarking on half-term getaways faced long queues at the Port of Dover and UK airports.

The Reds are set to take on 13-time winners Real Madrid at the Stade de France tonight, with many fans facing great expense to get to the city.

The group of Liverpool fans took it upon themselves to make their own way across the Channel late on Friday after their flights were cancelled.

They had been turned away from John Lennon Airport in Liverpool after expecting to board a 4am flight.

Two of the fans, Adam and Tom Dring, flew to Heathrow to try to get another flight but they were unsuccessful, so decided to team up with family friend Paddy O’Toole who lives in Jersey, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Mr O’Toole then contacted a friend who runs a boat chartering firm called La Mourier on the island.

“They got a flight to Jersey last minute and they met up with us and asked could we get them to France,” he told the newspaper.

“We felt sorry for the young lads so we had to do something.”

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Thousands of Liverpool fans gather in Paris ahead of Champions League final

The group managed to charter a speedboat to cross from Jersey to Saint-Malo – where they continued their journey towards Paris in time for Saturday’s game.

Video footage posted on Mr O’Toole’s Twitter account showed the group speeding across the Channel in a Redbay Stormforce 950, with those on board including 72-year-old Dave Walsh, Jamie O’Neill, Jay and Billy Giles and Joey O’Toole.

In the clip, someone can be heard shouting: “Just coming into France, we must be off our heads.”

In the background, Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire can be heard playing.

“We saw a few dolphins on the way and got the train to Rennes and then to Paris,” Mr O’Toole added.

“A few more of our mates from Liverpool who live in Jersey heard we were going and joined on. We haven’t got a ticket between us.”

After arriving in Saint-Malo, the football fans boarded a train to Paris in time for the match against Real Madrid this evening.

Coach takes 50 Liverpool fans to France for £1

Elsewhere, one quick-thinking Liverpool supporter bought a coach to transport dozens of fellow fans to Paris for just £1 each – arriving in the city just in time for the final.

Vlogger Simon Wilson, from Wrexham, bought the cheapest coach he could find for £5,000 to take as many supporters there after being unimpressed by the “extortionate” travel fees.

Charging just £1 each meant some 50 supporters could go from Anfield to the French capital in time for the game.

Mr Wilson said the journey had been “one of the toughest things I’ve ever done”.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Other fans have also endured a bumpy ride before tonight’s game.

Keenan Downey said he was “devastated” when his flight to France for the Champions League clash was also axed, leaving him in “limbo” at an airport for six hours.

The 25-year-old and his father Leslie, from Anglesey in Wales, arrived at John Lennon Airport at 1.30am on Saturday, also hoping to catch the 4am flight to Paris.

But they were among scores of fans who faced lengthy delays after the flight was rescheduled to depart at 5.45am but was then scrapped.

He then “stood around helpless” after being told there were no flights left at 3.30am, before finally boarding a rescheduled flight at 9.40am.

EasyJet has said it will cancel more than 200 flights over the next 10 days, putting half-term breaks at risk for thousands of travellers.

Passengers are also facing lengthy queues at airports including Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted and Bristol. People on social media have reported long waiting times at Dublin airport.

Thousands of Liverpool supporters descended on the Kent port on Friday to board cross-Channel ferries en route to Paris for Saturday’s clash.

There were lengthy delays with reports of waits of up to three hours to board ships.

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