A midnight mission to mount the England crest on the Angel of the North was foiled after onlookers called the police.
Under the cover of darkness, a group of daredevils attempted to clamp a 5ft Three Lions badge on the Gateshead sculpture early on Saturday ahead of England's first major final in 55 years on July 11, Chronicle Live reports.
The badge was emblazoned with the message "football's coming home" and was designed to send support to England as the team faces Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
However, officers ordered the group to remove the badge within minutes of it being attached after onlookers called the police.
"I was in work just two days ago, and the lads were saying that they were surprised I hadn't put anything on for the Euros," said Ben Fada, 38, who scaled the Angel.
And it wasn't the first time Ben has attempted to decorate the monument.
His group of friends, including Robbie Woods, were also involved in previously attaching a Santa hat and a poppy to Anthony Gormley's iconic sculpture.
"I thought it was too late, but literally within 24 hours we had the badge made and the bracket fabricated, so the effort that went into this was unreal.
"And once we got it on there, nice and safe, the coppers came around the corner after someone reported us for being on top (of the Angel) and shining lights.
"We begged them and asked if there was any chance they could turn a blind eye, but they wouldn't have it.
"I tried to stop up there, trying to say we would come back and take it down tomorrow as it wasn't safe as I was tired but he said if it didn't come on now we were getting hammered, so that was that really.
"The coppers are just doing their job but we are devastated."
This latest plot had only been hatched a little over 24 hours earlier, with the badge made in Washington.
Shortly after midnight, they used a 10ft catapult to fire the ropes over the landmark's wings before scaling the 65ft sculpture and clamping the badge on in order to avoid damaging the artwork.
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"It was like a military operation, to be honest," added Ben, from Washington, who works in rope access and has two decades of experience.
The aim was to not only attach the badge but to also cover Angel's wings in England flags.
Had it come off, he feels the public would think it was "absolutely amazing".
"The whole country now is going absolutely mental for football, the kids are getting days off school and Monday and people are getting days off work, so the country is loving it," he added.
"So we thought what better than the Angel of the North to give some support."
On Facebook, friends agreed – while slamming those who called the police.
"What a shame," wrote one friend.
"Why would anyone do that! Rotten spoilsports."
The Daily Star has approached Northumbria Police for comment.
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