Friendly: French and English Soccer Fans Unite in Wake of Attacks

by Gabe Joselow and Sarah Burke /  / Updated 

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PARIS — At a sports bar in the busy Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, subdued soccer fans gathered Tuesday night to watch the French national team take on England in London.

Related: France Plays On: Behind The Scenes at Wembley

Before the friendly match got underway, France's national anthem — "La Marseillaise" — rang out across Wembley Stadium, where 70,000 people, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William, packed the stands.

English and French players stood in unity on the field, as spectators waved French flags and showed off cheeks painted with red, white and blue stripes.

Image: England v France
French players walk by wreaths following the international soccer friendly match at Wembley Stadium in London on Nov. 17, 2015.ANDY RAIN / EPA

After the opening anthem ended, patrons at The Moose, a Canadian bar popular with sports fans, broke into steady applause.

"I feel more French than ever since these attacks," said Calvin Creutz, an 18-year old student at Sciences-Po university, who came out specifically to watch the game.

Related: Wembley Crowd, Players Sing French National Anthem

While a "bizarre" atmosphere still lingers in Paris, Creutz told NBC News that the public show of solidarity was important following Friday's terror attacks, which left 129 people dead and 350 others wounded across six sites, including the Stade de France stadium.

There, suicide bombers unleashed explosives outside of the arena while France's soccer team played Germany.

Earlier on Tuesday, another soccer stadium in Hanover, Germany, was evacuated before Tuesday night's match between Germany and the Netherlands after police warned of a "potential threat to spectators." No explosives or arrests were immediately made, police said.

"It is a symbol of unity," Creutz said amid the renewed flurry of French patriotism. "Today we are more and more united against these crimes."

His friend, Hugo Kennedy, agreed. "The Marseillaise means a lot more now," said Kennedy, whose father owns The Moose.

After the national anthem was sung, the French and English teams stood side by side on the pitch while cheers and applause washed over them.

The players of both teams — wearing black armbands — also observed a moment of silence to remember the victims.

The stadium was lit up in red, white and blue, and France's famous motto — Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité — was emblazoned in colored lights for all to see.

The England-France match up ended without a hitch — and England claiming a 2-0 victory.

London resident Ben Lyons, who was at the stadium, said he set up a petition to ask the Football Association to donate the proceeds of Tuesday's game to the charity Doctors Without Borders.

He told NBC News that the petition has more than 150,000 signatures.

"Football is a sport that brings people together," he said, "and England and France are obviously old rivals in football — but actually this is a chance for people to come together and stand for something good."

Michael Kennedy, owner of The Moose bar, said Paris remains "in a bit of a cloud" since Friday's attacks. His watering hole has seen dozens of cancellations in recent days, and the usually rowdy Sunday night regulars who come in to watch American football were fewer this week.

"People are on edge ... they are trying to live normally," said Michael Kennedy, 52. "You want to get back on with your lives."

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