Superfan Tango admits Sheffield Wednesday ban ‘hurt’ as he prepares for Hillsborough return

Sheffield Wednesday superfan Tango has attracted international attention as he cheers on England during Euro 2020.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 1:38 pm

The Owls supporter, whose real name is Paul Gregory, has been an ever-present at the Three Lions’ matches so far with his partner Rachel, and they will be back at Wembley for England’s last-16 clash against old foes Germany.

The Star caught up with him to get his thoughts on England’s chances and returning to Hillsborough after a lengthy stadium ban which was imposed by the club.

Paul, who is known for appearing topless at games whatever the weather, with images of him and his bare chest making the press around Europe in recent days, told how he is relishing the prospect of watching England renew their rivalry with Germany.

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“We got the result we needed against Croatia, the Scotland game was a bit of an anticlimax but Tuesday was absolutely fantastic and getting Germany is the icing on the cake,” he said.

“People were saying we should have gone for second or even third place but you can only play what’s in front of you and I wanted Germany, in all honesty. It’s a big, tasty one and hopefully we can get revenge for the last few years. I don’t think we have anything to fear.

“I thought Russia was a stepping stone, and we’re only going to get better as this tournament goes on. We’ve got fresh blood coming through. I thought Saka in particular was fantastic the other night, and we’re flourishing at the right time.”

Paul Gregory, better known as Tango, is looking forward to returning to Hillsborough after serving his ban (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Paul Gregory, better known as Tango, is looking forward to returning to Hillsborough after serving his ban (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Paul added that it was great to meet up again with other England fans from clubs across the country, and the ‘friendships, camaraderie and banter’ they have enjoyed together are ‘what you want in football’.

He was banned from Hillsborough for two years in 2019 after the club said he had used ‘foul and abusive language’ towards female stewards, though he claimed at the time he had been returning from helping a fellow fan back to his place in the disabled section when around 10 stewards descended on him.

Paul said the ban had been reduced on appeal to 12 months and he was waiting for his season ticket renewal to go through, having used the time before Covid to visit other stadiums around the country and complete his tour of all 92 football league grounds.

Tango, whose real name Paul Gregory, has high hopes for Sheffield Wednesday next season (photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Hillsborough. Watching matches there has been a big part of my life since I was 17 so the ban hurt,” he said.

“At the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes but you have to hold your hands up to those mistakes, brush yourself down and get on with life.

“Nobody’s perfect and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but all I try to do is bring a bit of atmosphere to games and have a bit of banter so everyone enjoys their day.

“Darren Moore’s a good manager and if he’s allowed to build as he wants to we should have a good season. We need to try to keep the likes of Barry Bannan, which will be a big ask, but we’ve got a lot of youth coming through.

“Our fanbase is second to none, and I’m looking forward to going to as many matches as I can next season.”