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Boris Johnson hails England's 'band of brothers' ahead of Euro 2020 final
10 July 2021, 22:34
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to the England football team ahead of their clash with Italy in Sunday's Euros final.
Mr Johnson told manager Gareth Southgate and the squad that they had "already made history".
He said: "You have taken England into the final of a major international competition. For most people in this country, it is the first time this has happened in all their lives.
"You have forged a band of brothers whose energy and tenacity and teamwork - and sheer flair - seem to shine in everything you do.
"You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift that trophy too.
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"We are not just hoping or praying. We believe in you, Gareth, and your incredible squad.
"On behalf of the entire nation, good luck, have a great game - and bring it home!"
The Queen also sent a message of support to Gareth Southgate and the England squad on the eve of the big game. The monarch sent her "good wishes" for Sunday's match against Italy at Wembley Stadium, saying she hopes that "history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves."
It comes after No 10 Downing Street was decked out in St George's flags ahead of the England football team playing in the Uefa Euro 2020 final on Sunday.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also sent his best wishes to the team.
He said: "On and off the field, you've shown the best of England during this tournament.
"You've been as fearless as the three lions on our crest. You've lit up this tournament. And in spite of those who tried to undermine you, you've used your platform to stand up for our shared values as a country.
"In doing so, you have become role models not just to a generation of young people, but to an entire nation.
"I want you to know that as you line up at Wembley today, the whole of England will be bursting with pride watching you.
"We still believe. Bring it home."
Earlier in the week, MPs from all parties used interventions in the Commons to congratulate the team for making the final, including Jacob Rees-Mogg reciting the John Barnes rap from World In Motion.
The Conservative minister quoted New Order's Italia 90 anthem before praising the "excellent leadership from Mr Southgate" for guiding England to Sunday's Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Other MPs hailed England boss Mr Southgate, and made several attempts to reference Three Lions (Football's Coming Home) - the David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Lightning Seeds classic which has aided England's bid for glory.
For Labour, shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire said Mr Johnson should spend some time "studying at the Gareth Southgate school of leadership".
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said on Saturday he was "counting down the minutes until kick-off".
He said: "The players, Gareth Southgate and the behind the scenes team have done something far more powerful than just win football matches - they have embodied an inclusive, inspiring, forward-looking England that so many people who have never sat through a football match feel connected to and proud of.
"I myself and the Liberal Democrats all wish England the very best for the match. Whatever happens, we have a team we can be proud of playing in a major tournament final at Wembley. Football is already home."