FOOTBALL fever took over Westbury this morning as fans celebrated England's progress in the world cup by putting a red cross on the White Horse.

It appeared that two large red ribbons had been pinned up to the horse to form the England flag, much to many football supporters' approval.

However, the red cross had been removed by 10.30am after complaints were made to English Heritage.

On Facebook, Westbury town council posted: "The red cross that was added to the White Horse has been removed this morning and this was at the request of English Heritage, who own the site."

Many residents also took to social media to have their say.

Paul Palmer commented: "No harm caused yet they fail to maintain the horse for years. Put it back up and show support for our country. Or are you worried it will offend someone?"

Dan Barber said: "I agree if it's not paint then no harm done but if people put up resistance and ruin other people's fun it will invite rebelish behaviour and next time it will be permanent."

Westbury mayor Ian Cunningham explained the reasoning for taking the cross down.

He said: "From English Heritage's point of view it's a slippery slope, pun intended!.

"Once they allow one thing as a special occasion, or turn a blind eye to it after they received a complaint, what happens when a sign saying vote for or eat at Joes appears? How do they defend allowing one and not the other?

"There may be people who feel that Joe's café is more important to them than the world cup.

"Statutory bodies can get themselves into deep water when they start making judgements about to whom and when the rules should and shouldn't apply.

"It's a scheduled ancient monument and a site of special scientific interest and most interference is therefore a criminal offence, and for that reason alone they can't be seen to let it lie once they know about it."