The headteacher of Hampton Lane Primary School in Southend On Sea has been forced to apologise to the local community after a ‘shameful’ fight broke out at home-time on Friday afternoon – witnesses said that around 45 adults and children got involved in a massive BRAWL over Euro 2016 stickers. Teaching staff had already banned sticker swapping during lesson times and lunch over safety and security concerns. 

A witness, who did not want to be named, said that they observed levels of violence not seen since the POGS epidemic of the 1990’s. He said: ‘As I was collecting my daughter who is in reception, I noticed that the atmosphere in the school’s allocated Child Retrieval Zone was far more tense than usual. She came and found me as usual, and all of a sudden I saw a Year 4 pupil curled up on the floor with three Gareth Bales and a Martin Skirtl clumsily attached to his face. His mother was obviously distressed and screaming at the boy’s dad who allegedly punched him to the ground, and she then peeled a fourth Gareth Bale and used it to rip off his goatee.’

He continued. ‘The headteacher had just managed to calm things down when another kid started screaming that had found one of the very rare shiny Dimitri Payet stickers. An obsessed parent instantly handed over £50 to buy it for his own child, and a few moments later he realised that it was just a normal Dimitri Payet attached to Bacofoil with some Pritt Stick. The boy just screamed ‘NO REFUNDS’ and kicked him in the nuts, and this triggered a massive brawl of more than 45 people. Thank god the police were on the scene so quickly.’

PC Percy Peasey said: ‘Since the beginning of June, our officers have attended more than 40 disturbances that have been linked to Panini stickers, and we have written to the Italian company to ask if they could increase the number of individual stickers that can be ordered by customers with a South Essex postcode. If we ban sticker swaps in school, this violence will carry on spilling out onto the streets and it will only be a matter of time before they progress from stickers onto harder drugs. We have to take action to stop Got Got Need turning into Got Got Needle.’