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One of BTP's longest serving officers looking out for fans at Champions League

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Football fans arriving in Cardiff ahead of tonight’s Champions League Final are in safe hands, with one of our longest serving officers looking out for them.

PC Jim Rentell, who’s served with BTP for 41 years, will be watching over travelling supporters from the control room in the National Stadium of Wales, helping them get to and from the game safely.

As one of our Dedicated Football Officers, he’s responsible for making sure any anti-social behaviour or criminality is nipped in the bud by sharing information between the police, clubs and supporters.

It’s a job PC Rentell, who joined the force as a 16-year-old police cadet in 1973 before becoming an officer in 1976, has enjoyed for the last 17 years after getting a taste for the role following an attachment with West Midlands Police for the Euro ’96 games at Villa Park.

Since then, he has worked on most major football competitions, including Euros 2000, 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, as well as being a key link between BTP and forces in the Midlands for local matches.  

But the Birmingham-based bobby’s first experience of football policing came when seconded to West Midlands Police in the late 80s, working on Operation Red Card – an undercover policing operation which resulted in the arrest of 67 Birmingham City football hooligans known as the Zulu Warriors.

Reflecting on his time with BTP, our longest serving football officer is looking forward to working on his last major event ahead of his retirement next month.

PC Rentell, who has been described by colleagues as “an integral part of how BTP police football”, said: “Football is my life and this weekend in Cardiff is definitely one of the highlights of my career. The atmosphere will be tremendous and if Gareth Bale comes on the pitch for Real Madrid the place will erupt!

“I have loved every minute of my time with BTP – it’s a great job which I would recommend to anyone.”

And his predictions for the game?

“I would like to see Juventus to win 2 – 1 because they have only won the Champions League twice, so I think it’s their turn… and I’d also like to see Ronaldo cry!”

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