England national football team reached the final of an important international tournament, with the prospect of victory in the European Championship in hand. As England registered a 2-1 win over Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night, fans crowded the streets and in pubs, fan-focused areas, and across the country and at home as they celebrates Euro 2020 semi-final victory. Politicians across the country made a rare show of unity as they congratulated the players the nation hailed as heroes, and England gathered together in a moment of public happiness, which many said was desperately needed.
“Every country has gone through some painful months,” said 30-year-old Matt Corby, who wore a red T-shirt from England and celebrated with friends in a London pub. “It is beautiful to live this historic moment in English football after 55 years. What is the time to do it?”
Before their victory over Denmark, England had not reached the final of the 1966 World Cup football tournament, which they had won. The team, sometimes known as the Three Lions, will play in the final against Italy at Wembley on Sunday.
On Wednesday as fans cried, danced, and celebrated in the streets of Newcastle, Portsmouth, Manchester, and London – and elsewhere in the country – it seemed it was finally the England moment that previous generations had hoped for. “We will always get to this point,” said Darin Adebi, recalling England’s defeat to Germany in the 1996 European Championship semi-finals.
Mr. Adebiyi celebrates in north London, saying England has passed their “litmus test”. “It transcends ideologies and lines of division and ultimately brings the country together,” he said, praising the team for its performance, but also for taking a knee before each match as an anti-racist gesture. “These moments are very rare and important.”
Gary Neville, a football legend and a staunch critic of conservative politicians, told ITV News in Britain after England’s victory: “The level of leaders of this country has been weak in recent years.” Referring to Gareth Southgate he said, “Looking at the man there that’s all a leader needs to be: respectable, polite, truthful.”