Football fans return to EFL games for first time in 266 days

English football fans returned to stadiums in Championship, League One and League Two fixtures for the first time in 266 days; Over 10,000 fans were allowed across six games; Supporters allowed to sing in support but must remain socially distant

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After 266 days away, fans of Luton, Wycombe, Charlton, Shrewsbury, Carlisle and Cambridge were able to watch their team in EFL action on Wednesday night

Fans returned to English Football League matches for the first time in 266 days on Wednesday as clubs in tiers one and two welcomed back supporters.

Limited crowds were permitted to attend at Luton and Wycombe in the Championship, Charlton and Shrewsbury in League One and Carlisle and Cambridge in League Two, after nationwide lockdown restrictions in England ended on Tuesday.

EFL clubs in tier three areas continued to play their games behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Carlisle fans outside Brunton Park
Image: Carlisle fans arrive at Brunton Park for the first EFL game since restrictions on fans were eased
Luton fans at Kenilworth Road
Image: Luton fans delighted to be back at Kenilworth Road
Socially distanced fans applaud as the team warm up prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Wycombe Wanderers and Stoke City at Adams Park
Image: Socially distanced fans applaud as the teams warm up prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Wycombe Wanderers and Stoke City at Adams Park

Carlisle's Brunton Park was the first EFL ground to open their turnstiles in the early kick-off against Salford City in League Two.

 2,000 fans at Carlisle vs Salford in League Two at Brunton Park
Image: 2,000 fans were at Carlisle vs Salford in League Two at Brunton Park

Around 2,000 fans at Brunton Park cheered on as Lewis Alessandra opened the scoring against Salford in their 2-1 win.

fans look on from their socially distanced position in the stands during the Sky Bet League One match between Charlton Athletic and Milton Keynes Dons
Image: Fans look on from their socially distanced position in the stands during the Sky Bet League One match between Charlton Athletic and Milton Keynes Dons

Charlton then welcomed 2,000 fans back at the Valley but fell to a 1-0 defeat to MK Dons.

Charlton fans back at the Valley
Image: Socially-distanced Charlton fans back at the Valley
1,000 Wycombe Wanderers season-ticket holders saw their team play in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since promotion
Image: 1,000 Wycombe Wanderers season-ticket holders saw their team play in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since promotion

At the same time Wycombe's defeat to Stoke in the Championship and Shrewsbury's win over Accrington took place in front of around 2,000 fans, with Cambridge United's home loss to Mansfield the other fixture with a crowd in League Two.

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Emirates Stadium, Arsenal 2:40
After almost nine months without football fans in stadia, Arsenal are preparing to welcome back up to 2,000 supporters on Thursday for their Europa League game against Rapid Vienna.

Thursday will see Arsenal become the first Premier League side to play in front of fans again when 2,000 will be allowed in to watch their Europa League game against Rapid Vienna at the Emirates.

This weekend Premier League games at West Ham, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Brighton will also have spectators.

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