The Queen sends message of support ahead of England's bid for Euro 2020 glory

10 July 2021, 18:30 | Updated: 10 July 2021, 22:46

The Queen sent a message of support to Gareth Southgate and England
The Queen sent a message of support to Gareth Southgate and England. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The Queen has sent a message of support to England manager Gareth Southgate and the rest of the squad ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

England take on Italy at Wembley in their first final in a major tournament for 55 years tomorrow. Kick-off is at 8pm and the match will be watched by tens of millions across the country.

Victory would mark the men's football team's first major tournament win since the 1966 World Cup, also at Wembley.

In a short note to manager Gareth Southgate, the monarch sent her "good wishes" for Sunday's match against Italy at Wembley Stadium.

She said she hopes that "history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves."

Her Majesty's message reads: "Mr. Gareth Southgate, OBE (Manager), 55 years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament.

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"I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships, and send my good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves. ELIZABETH R."

The message was posted on Twitter by the Royal Family, who followed it up with a three lions emoji.

Boris Johnson also sent a message of good luck to the team, saying they had lifted the nation's spirits."

Southgate has spoken of his pride in his squad's role in driving "tolerance and inclusion" in modern England, as he rallied fans across the nation who are preparing to watch the Euro 2020 final.

He said he wanted his players to help do "positive things that we could help to change or influence in society".

An expectant nation is set to spend millions of pounds today readying itself for Sunday's match with Italy for the chance to be crowned champions of Europe.

As football fever grips the nation, it is predicted England fans will fans will buy millions of pints on Sunday, take out hundreds of million of pounds out in cash - and some are even changing their names of their streets to show their backing for the Three Lions.

Southgate's England team has been hailed for its social conscience which has seen squad members saluted for taking the knee against racism, making a stand on donating to the NHS, and taking the fight for free school means to Downing Street.

But as well as acknowledging a forward-looking nation, Southgate - whose grandfather saw service in the Second World War - is keen to hail its history and values.

He said: "For an island our size we've got an incredible influence on the world and we've got to keep that in a positive way. There are historic things that we should be proud of.

Read more: England team to donate millions in Euros prize money to NHS Covid heroes

"At heart I go back to the values that my parents gave me and treating people as you would want to be treated. Just respectful, really."We have so many things here that we should be proud of that we probably underestimate that."

Police meanwhile have urged England fans not to gather in large numbers for the Euro 2020 final, warning London remains in the grip of a public health crisis.

Large crowds of supporters are set to amass in the capital on Sunday as the Three Lions aim to win their first European championships against Italy at Wembley.

The Metropolitan Police have prepared for the match by visiting venues to ensure social distancing is maintained, and the force said a "great" number of officers will be in place in different locations.

The Met also warned those without tickets not to visit London as they may end up missing the match.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: "The Met has a significantly enhanced policing operation in place and will adapt as necessary to increased numbers of fans enjoying the matches.

"We will continue to deploy a great many officers and specialist units to prevent crime and disorder and respond to any incidents right across London.

"We want people to be able to enjoy the Euros 2020 final safely and securely, behave responsibly and consider the safety and welfare of others.

"London still remains in a public health crisis. There are Government guidelines in place and we ask people to follow these and remain socially distanced.

"We will enforce legislation proportionately and as appropriate and engage with crowds.

"But I urge people not to gather in large numbers. If you don't have a ticket to the matches, fan zone or officially booked into a pub, bar or club, my message is clear: please do not come to London - you could end up missing the game."

Mr Taylor said a "particular focus" is being placed on tackling domestic abuse, while he warned the terror threat remains "substantial" - meaning an attack is likely.

The force made 23 arrests on Wednesday following England's victory over Denmark in the semi-final, for common assault, public order offences and assaulting police.

He added: "Many pubs and bars right across London are screening the matches and attracting large numbers of fans.

"Met licensing officers have been visiting such venues to talk to staff about how they can keep their customers safe and deal with any risks arising from disorder and anti-social behaviour, as well as helping the vulnerable get home safely."