Police in Ellesmere Port have been left bewildered by rumours that England fans were ordered to take down patriotic flags celebrating the World Cup.

Outraged social media users took to the Pride in the Port Facebook page to vent their fury after it was claimed police in the area had been telling people to remove their England flags, with some labelling it 'a disgrace'.

But when The Pioneer contacted police for an explanation, they said the rumours had left them perplexed and said they had no idea where the claims had come from.

Detective Sergeant Mike Ankers said he wanted to emphasise that police have no issues with the displaying of flags.  "We've not had any issues at all with flags and are absolutely, 100% behind people celebrating England," he said.

"In a slightly mundane way, we do have an operation running for the World Cup relating to  crime and disorder, but as far as displaying flags is concerned, we welcome everyone getting behind the team and expressing it in any way they want, as long as the flags are displayed correctly of course.

"Most of us like football so I really don't know where this has come from. Obviously if someone has a 20ft flag that is blocking somebody's window, they may then be asked to move it but other than that we have absolutely no problem with people celebrating England in this way."