AN England fan battered into a coma by an “army” of Russian Ultras five years ago this week has told how they had a “good go at killing” him.
Dad-of-three Stewart Gray was left for dead after being ambushed by hooligans during the notorious Battle of Marseille at the start of Euro 2016.
Witnesses saw ruthless thugs smash a brick and chair over his head in a bloody brawl before England’s opening match against Russia.
Stewart spent three weeks in a coma after being struck with so much force he needed six months of hospital care.
One cop said the Russian yobs “arrived like an army” before launching “a commando-style attack”.
In the ensuing violence, 14 England supporters were left in hospital – including two with life-threatening injuries.
“They had a good go at killing me,” Leicester City fan Stewart told the Athletic, on the eve of the Euro 2020 tournament which kicks off five years to the day he was attacked.
Duncan, his brother, was also in the French part city when the sickening violence erupted.
He said: “It was like a war zone, the worst violence I have ever seen.
“Stewart is lucky to be alive. Others, too. It’s true, there could have been a murder on the streets.”
However, Stewart, 52, reveals the only thing he remembers is waking up in in the brain injury unit at Leicester General Hospital.
He said: “I don’t remember being in Marseille. I don’t remember anything about the incident.”
However, his brother tells how fun in the sun soon turned into bloody mayhem.
“It was all quite jovial…we were having a few drinks. There were England fans there from all over the country,” he revealed.
“Where we were standing was literally where the Russians attacked. We took the brunt of it.”
In the chaos Duncan says he lost sight of his brother.
“By the time I got to the stadium, I was getting really concerned. I didn’t know where he was and nobody else seemed to, either,” he told the Athletic.
“After the game, there was still no sign of him, so I started calling the police and the hospitals.”
He then got a call to say his brother had been located as was in hospital being treated for his shocking injuries.
It was later discovered Stewart had suffered post-traumatic brain damage sparked by a haemorrhage.
“It has totally affected my life,” says Stewart, who can often be found volunteering in his local branch of Headway, a charity which helps people affected by brain injuries.
The football fanatic hasn’t been to any of England’s games over the last five years although has been to see his beloved Leicester City play.
In 2018, Stewart told The Sun Online about the dangers of Russian hooligans.
He said: “The Russians treat matches like a military operation. Like a war, not a game.”
Portsmouth supporter Andrew Bache, 55, was also left fighting for life during after being ambushed by Russian yobs .
The Tesco delivery driver was left with massive skull injuries after being battered over the head with an iron bar.
The two thugs responsible for the attack were later jailed for a combined 13 years.
Andrew, of Portsmouth, was unable to attend the French court but his son Harry was at the trial and broke down as harrowing footage was shown.
He was hit by a chair and kicked and punched to the ground in clashes in Marseille, where the teams met.
A French cop saved his live with CPR after his heart stopped.