England v Italy: Thousands of exuberant fans descend on Wembley

11 July 2021, 16:23

By Joe Cook

Thousands of England fans in exuberant mood have descended on Wembley ahead of the historic Euro 2020 final against Italy, which kicks off at the stadium at 8pm.

Jubilant supporters arrived - beer in hand - with flares set off, and people clambering on buses and up lamp posts ahead of the hugely anticipated international clash.

Across the country queues have formed outside pubs, as those without bookings hoped to nab a place to watch the game.

Read more: Kings Cross forced to evacuate after England fans set off fire alarm with flares

Read more: England v Italy: Kick-off time, how to watch and build-up for the Euro 2020 final

Gareth Southgate's men have already made history in reaching England's first ever European Championships final.

They are now looking to overcome the long 55-year wait for a mens football trophy and write themselves into the history books alongside the heroes of 1966.

Southgate has said he is determined to win the European Championship for the entire nation after their "spirit, commitment and pride" was recognised by the Queen.

Read more: Years of hurt: England's road from the 1966 final to the cusp of Euro 2020 glory

Read more: 'I'll never wash it': Girl, 10, who cried tears of joy after Mason Mount gave her shirt

Many headed to the pub on Sunday morning ahead of the big match.
Many headed to the pub on Sunday morning ahead of the big match. Picture: PA
Crowds queued outside The Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park hoping to find a seat to watch the game.
Crowds queued outside The Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park hoping to find a seat to watch the game. Picture: PA
Fans climbed on top of a bus outside Wembley on Sunday morning.
Fans climbed on top of a bus outside Wembley on Sunday morning. Picture: PA

Around 60,000 lucky fans will watch from inside the stadium, with the TV coverage expected to record some of the highest viewership figures of the decade.

Thousands have already descended on central London, with Wembley Way packed with supporters hours ahead of the kickoff.

Read more: Jeremy Corbyn: Gareth Southgate's England are 'fantastic' role models

Newly married couple Amish (l) and Nimisha take wedding photos outside of Wembley Stadium.
Newly married couple Amish (l) and Nimisha take wedding photos outside of Wembley Stadium. Picture: PA
Huge crowds line Wembley Way ahead of the 8pm kickoff.
Huge crowds line Wembley Way ahead of the 8pm kickoff. Picture: PA
An England fan takes knap ahead of the big game.
An England fan takes knap ahead of the big game. Picture: PA

Some climbed buses and let off flares at Wembley, while rowdy fans in Leicester Square were picture throwing pot plants.

The packed crowd chanted "I'm England 'til I die", as police watched on.

Read More: Prince William 'can't believe this is happening' as England gear up for Euros final

Thousands of England fans have gathered in Leicester Square ahead of the final.
Thousands of England fans have gathered in Leicester Square ahead of the final. Picture: PA
Partying England fans throw a tree in Leicester Square, central London.
Partying England fans throw a tree in Leicester Square, central London. Picture: PA

There was a lively atmosphere at the Trafalgar Square fan zone, with supporters confident that "history can be made".

Ross Belton, 22, from Crawley, west Sussex, said: "This is by far one of the biggest sporting days in my lifetime, I can't think of anything that really comes close.

"If I ever get married it'll have to be a pretty special service to top the feeling I have right now!"

Paul, 42, an electrician from Camden, north London, said: "History can be made tonight, everyone has to make the most of it because we may never see it again.

"It's like Christmas, if Christmas came around every 55 years, live in the moment and celebrate like mad if we win."

Read More: 'We're in a final and we're here to win': Southgate's message to Italy

Read More: Gareth Southgate now more popular than Churchill as odds slashed on knighthood

David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Lighting Seeds perform Three Lions' at a special gig for England fans ahead of the Euro 2020 final, as part of the National Lottery's Revive Live campaign, at 229 club in London.
David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Lighting Seeds perform Three Lions' at a special gig for England fans ahead of the Euro 2020 final, as part of the National Lottery's Revive Live campaign, at 229 club in London. Picture: PA
Fans joined in singing Three Lions'.
Fans joined in singing Three Lions'. Picture: PA

The 229 venue became a sea of St George flags as the crowd cheered along to Frank Skinner and David Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds' rendition of Three Lions.

Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick as England won the 1966 World Cup Final, introduced comedians Skinner and Baddiel on to the stage as the crowd became ecstatic with cheers, screams and jumping along to the tune.

Security gave up attempts to remove people from standing up in their chairs and one man took his shirt off. Some audience members were visibly emotional.