Eddie Mair 4pm - 6pm
England v Italy: Thousands of exuberant fans descend on Wembley
11 July 2021, 16:23
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.