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England have lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy, extending the Three Lions’ 55 years of hurt with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missing from 12 yards like manager Gareth Southgate in 1996. 

Despite two saves by Jordan Pickford, England missed three consecutive penalties crowning Italy champions and breaking hearts in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley. 

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager 25 years after his miss in the semi-finals of the same tournament.

In a bitter irony it was the substituted penalty specialists Rashford and Sancho who failed to score before Saka.  

Prince George looked shattered as William and Kate comforted him after a first half that had the royal box rocking. 

But after Luke Shaw’s stunning early goal – the fastest ever in a European final – England’s nerves were shot to pieces as the Italians ran them ragged in the second half. 

They were dealt a hammer blow on the 67th minute as Leonardo Bonucci equalised with a scrappy goal, leaving the Three Lions hanging on until extra time. 

A frantic two periods of extra time followed, with both sides capable of seizing victory, before the final whistle and the dreaded spot kicks. 

Boris Johnson said England ‘played like heroes’, adding: ‘They have done the nation proud and deserve great credit.’ 

But tears flowed along Wembley way after the heartbreaking finish to go along with the despair of thousands of fans who ended up locked out of the stadium. 

Two schoolboys were hurried along in tears and held their father’s hands. The man told MailOnline: ‘It’s going to take some work to be lifting these boys. They had so much hope just like the rest of the country. But once again we just crashed at the last moment. Are we ever going to win anything?’ 

Delia Smith told MailOnline as she left: ‘There is a a lot to be hopeful for. We should be very proud of the team.’ 

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Bukayo Saka is comforted by Harry Kane after missing his spot kick and giving Italians victory

Bukayo Saka is comforted by Harry Kane after missing his spot kick and giving Italians victory

Saka looks dejected

Saka looks dejected

Bukayo Saka is comforted by Harry Kane after missing his spot kick and giving Italians victory and looking dejected, right

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by his team mates after failing to score his penalty, handing victory to Italy

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by his team mates after failing to score his penalty, handing victory to Italy

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by his team mates after failing to score his penalty, handing victory to Italy

Prince George looked shattered as William and Kate comforted him after a first half that had the royal box rocking

Prince George looked shattered as William and Kate comforted him after a first half that had the royal box rocking

Prince George looked shattered as William and Kate comforted him after a first half that had the royal box rocking

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci carry the trophy and celebrate with team-mates after winning the penalty shoot-out after the UEFA Euro 2020 Final at Wembley

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci carry the trophy and celebrate with team-mates after winning the penalty shoot-out after the UEFA Euro 2020 Final at Wembley

Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci carry the trophy and celebrate with team-mates after winning the penalty shoot-out after the UEFA Euro 2020 Final at Wembley 

Devastated Jordan Pickford sits on the ground as the Italian side celebrate in front of him after Donnarumma saved Saka's shot

Devastated Jordan Pickford sits on the ground as the Italian side celebrate in front of him after Donnarumma saved Saka's shot

Devastated Jordan Pickford sits on the ground as the Italian side celebrate in front of him after Donnarumma saved Saka’s shot

Italy players celebrate with their fans end of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

Italy players celebrate with their fans end of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

Italy players celebrate with their fans end of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

The Italian player clamber onto each other after Saka's penalty was saved by Donnarumma

The Italian player clamber onto each other after Saka's penalty was saved by Donnarumma

The Italian player clamber onto each other after Saka’s penalty was saved by Donnarumma

England's shattered fans can't bear it anymore

England's shattered fans can't bear it anymore

An England fan can't watch

An England fan can't watch

England’s shattered fans can’t bear it anymore. Nerves are already shattered after the Italians ran England ragged in the second half, dealing them a hammer blow on the 67th minute through a scrappy goal from Leonardo Bonucci. 

Marcus Rashford is consoled by a family member after missing the first of three consecutive penalties that went begging in the shoot-out

Marcus Rashford is consoled by a family member after missing the first of three consecutive penalties that went begging in the shoot-out

Marcus Rashford is consoled by a family member after missing the first of three consecutive penalties that went begging in the shoot-out

England manager Gareth Southgate stands dejected alongside Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish

England manager Gareth Southgate stands dejected alongside Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish

England manager Gareth Southgate stands dejected alongside Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish

England fans are dejected after England lose the game on penalties at Vinegar Yard, London

England fans are dejected after England lose the game on penalties at Vinegar Yard, London

England fans are dejected after England lose the game on penalties at Vinegar Yard, London

An England fan in tears at Luna Springs in Birmingham watching the UEFA Euro 2020 Final

An England fan in tears at Luna Springs in Birmingham watching the UEFA Euro 2020 Final

An England fan in tears at Luna Springs in Birmingham watching the UEFA Euro 2020 Final

England supporters are devastated after losing the final against Italy

England supporters are devastated after losing the final against Italy

England supporters are devastated after losing the final against Italy

Broken England fans sit and watch the aftermath after heading into central London to watch the final

Broken England fans sit and watch the aftermath after heading into central London to watch the final

Broken England fans sit and watch the aftermath after heading into central London to watch the final

Gary Willins, 27, of East Ham, said: ‘ it is a shocking end. And I penalties were shocking. We do this every time. We always get let down.

‘It doesn’t matter about what Gareth Southgate has done. We are just losers once again.’

Alicia southern, 17, wiped away tears as she said: ‘This is so painful. I can’t help crying when I think about the players and how much they have lifted us.’

Lisa Sparkes, 44, a college family officer from Camberley, Surrey, said: ‘The players can still hold our heads up high.

‘And so can we as a country. We have been all brought together in such a lovely way and that is the big positive out of all this.

‘Okay we didn’t win the cup competition, but that’s not always what matters most. He has been a wonderful four weeks and we should all be so proud.’

There was heartbreak as well for hundreds of thousands in central London, many of whom had travelled from across the country to the capital to soak up the atmosphere.  

Outside The Queens Head pub near Piccadilly Circus, supporters screamed in disappointment and the sound of glass shattering could be heard along with chants for the England team and the Three Lions song.

One man dejectedly removed England flags from his car before getting into it, while another was seen throwing traffic cones in the main road in frustration.

Stephanie Moothoosawmy, 24, from Essex, watched the game with friends in Oxford Circus on her phone.

She said: ‘It’s disappointing and I’m sure many people are really emotional. There was a lot riding on this match and England still played a great game.

‘The important thing is that we don’t let this loss define us. I’m still really proud.’

In Trafalgar Square some fans began singing the national anthem, cheering the Three Lions’ accomplishments despite the defeat.

In Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan, Greater Manchester, Mary Thomas, 64, said: ‘To lose it at the last kick of the game, last kick of the tournament, is a sickener.

‘That was a horrible way to end it.’

Great-great grandmother Mary Hurst, 84, said: ‘That’s so disappointing. I feel for the players who missed the penalties.

‘Football is only a game, but it’s also cruel.’

Distraught fans at the Newcastle PaddyPark fans’ zone clapped the England players as they lost again on penalties.

But some looked bereft and one shouted: ‘I cannot do this any more.’

When penalties began, members of the crowd at BOXPARK Croydon huddled together in a line, with their hands on each other’s shoulders.

Cheers soon became downturned faces as Italy were declared the winners.

In Birmingham, many fans slumped to the floor while others lay on tables in despair at the Luna Springs big screen venue.

As elation turned to deflation in little more than a minute, many supporters headed straight for the exit to head home.

Teenager Jack Smith said: ‘I feel sorry for the lads who had to take a penalty after coming on cold.

‘I thought some of the bigger names would’ve stepped forward. It’s just a heart-breaking way to lose.’

It comes after the party atmosphere descended into chaos just minutes before kick-off as dozens knocked down a barrier and rushed up the stairs to the stands as ticket-holding families with distraught children looked on. 

Wembley admitted that a ‘small number’ of people had got inside the stadium, but claimed the security situation was in hand. 

Tens of thousands of fans without tickets have been rocking since Shaw netted the first goal – many arrived at the arena this morning and have been knocking back drinks ever since.

Gary Atkinson, 21, from Luton was soaking up the atmosphere from outside the ground, watching the action on a mobile phone. He told MailOnline: ‘This is so amazing. I have to pinch myself to believe it. If I wasn’t at the stadium, I would have thought I was just dreaming.

‘My three friends and I don’t have any tickets, but we thought we wanted to be here at Wembley just in case England made history.

‘It looks like we could win something for the first time in our lives. It looks like we are going to go all the way.’

Aaron Vernon,25, a McDonalds manager from Leighton Buzzard added: ‘It was a Man United player, and I support Man United, so that’s brilliant.

‘But I’m just pleased for my country. Hope we go all the way now.’

His girlfriend Sophie Flynn, 18, also from Leighton Buzzard said: ‘If we win, this will be good for the country. After all you’ve been through with a pandemic, this is just what we need. It’s coming home.’

She added: ‘The game is only just started. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Let’s hope it’s coming home though.  

An estimated 35 million are watching the match on TV, while more than £3 billion is being lavished on bets, drinks and food.

The force said it will be deploying ‘a great many officers and specialist units to prevent crime and disorder and respond to any incidents right across London’.

It comes as expectations reach fever pitch, one fan in central London said even a loss is ‘something to drink to’ in its historic match against Italy in the Euro final.

Simon Brown, 36, from London, told PA that he believes England ‘has done well to get to the finals’.

The Duke of Cambridge tries to explain who might be taking the kicks to his wife as Prince George watches on

The Duke of Cambridge tries to explain who might be taking the kicks to his wife as Prince George watches on

The Duke of Cambridge tries to explain who might be taking the kicks to his wife as Prince George watches on

Prince William appears to be counting the penalty kick takers on his hands as Kate and George look on

Prince William appears to be counting the penalty kick takers on his hands as Kate and George look on

Prince William appears to be counting the penalty kick takers on his hands as Kate and George look on

Leonardo Bonucci dealt the hammer blow for the Italians on the 67th minute, leaving the Three Lions shell shocked after Luke Shaw delivered the dream start

Leonardo Bonucci dealt the hammer blow for the Italians on the 67th minute, leaving the Three Lions shell shocked after Luke Shaw delivered the dream start

Leonardo Bonucci dealt the hammer blow for the Italians on the 67th minute, leaving the Three Lions shell shocked after Luke Shaw delivered the dream start

Distraught England fans put their heads in their hands as Italy deal a hammer blow after bossing the second half against England

Distraught England fans put their heads in their hands as Italy deal a hammer blow after bossing the second half against England

Distraught England fans put their heads in their hands as Italy deal a hammer blow after bossing the second half against England

A woman draped in the England fan can't bear to watch as the game ticks on into extra time

A woman draped in the England fan can't bear to watch as the game ticks on into extra time

A woman draped in the England fan can’t bear to watch as the game ticks on into extra time

England fans in agony as they hope their side can comeback while watching at a Newcastle screening

England fans in agony as they hope their side can comeback while watching at a Newcastle screening

England fans in agony as they hope their side can comeback while watching at a Newcastle screening 

Fans in Newcastle looked distraught as Italy equalised in the Euro 2020 final, with the game now going into extra time - and possibly the dreaded penalties

Fans in Newcastle looked distraught as Italy equalised in the Euro 2020 final, with the game now going into extra time - and possibly the dreaded penalties

Fans in Newcastle looked distraught as Italy equalised in the Euro 2020 final, with the game now going into extra time – and possibly the dreaded penalties

Upset fans hide their faces in their hands as Italy take the lead

Upset fans hide their faces in their hands as Italy take the lead

Upset fans hide their faces in their hands as Italy take the lead 

A streaker interrupted play with ridiculous antics towards the end of the second half as England fans watched on desperate for a comeback by their team

A streaker interrupted play with ridiculous antics towards the end of the second half as England fans watched on desperate for a comeback by their team

A streaker interrupted play with ridiculous antics towards the end of the second half as England fans watched on desperate for a comeback by their team

After a nerve-jangling second half a streaker interrupted play before the final whistle to further prolong the agony

After a nerve-jangling second half a streaker interrupted play before the final whistle to further prolong the agony

After a nerve-jangling second half a streaker interrupted play before the final whistle to further prolong the agony

Distraught England fans can't believe what they're seeing as the Italians run riot in the second half

Distraught England fans can't believe what they're seeing as the Italians run riot in the second half

Distraught England fans can’t believe what they’re seeing as the Italians run riot in the second half

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford appeared to have made a terrific save before the centre-half rattled in the scrappy follow-up goal off the back of a corner

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford appeared to have made a terrific save before the centre-half rattled in the scrappy follow-up goal off the back of a corner

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford appeared to have made a terrific save before the centre-half rattled in the scrappy follow-up goal off the back of a corner

The goal has set up a nail-biting finish to the match at Wembley - pushing the game into extra time and maybe penalties

The goal has set up a nail-biting finish to the match at Wembley - pushing the game into extra time and maybe penalties

England fans were seen head-in-hands moments after Italy's goal went in

England fans were seen head-in-hands moments after Italy's goal went in

The goal has set up a nail-biting finish to the match at Wembley – pushing the game into extra time and maybe penalties. England fans were seen head-in-hands moments after Italy’s goal went in

Jubilant Italian fans celebrate their equaliser at the Piazza del Popolo in Rome

Jubilant Italian fans celebrate their equaliser at the Piazza del Popolo in Rome

Jubilant Italian fans celebrate their equaliser at the Piazza del Popolo in Rome

Italy's Leonardo Bonucci2nd right, celebrates with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini, right, after scoring his sides first goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship final

Italy's Leonardo Bonucci2nd right, celebrates with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini, right, after scoring his sides first goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship final

Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci2nd right, celebrates with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, right, after scoring his sides first goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship final

England fans despair after Italy equalise in the PaddyPark fanzone beside the River Tyne, Newcastle, watching the Euro 2020 Final

England fans despair after Italy equalise in the PaddyPark fanzone beside the River Tyne, Newcastle, watching the Euro 2020 Final

England fans despair after Italy equalise in the PaddyPark fanzone beside the River Tyne, Newcastle, watching the Euro 2020 Final

England football fans are racked with anxiety as the minutes ebb away

England football fans are racked with anxiety as the minutes ebb away

England football fans are racked with anxiety as the minutes ebb away

Grealish writhes in agony after a grubby challenge by Jorginho who raked his studs down the Englishman's shin

Grealish writhes in agony after a grubby challenge by Jorginho who raked his studs down the Englishman's shin

Grealish writhes in agony after a grubby challenge by Jorginho who raked his studs down the Englishman’s shin

England's Harry Maguire is shown a yellow card as nervous minutes of extra time tick by

England's Harry Maguire is shown a yellow card as nervous minutes of extra time tick by

England’s Harry Maguire is shown a yellow card as nervous minutes of extra time tick by

The experiences and guileful Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini hauls back the shirt of English danger man Bukayo Saka

The experiences and guileful Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini hauls back the shirt of English danger man Bukayo Saka

The experiences and guileful Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini hauls back the shirt of English danger man Bukayo Saka

Southgate imparts some wisdom to Kalvin Phillips as frayed nerves set in among the Three Lions

Southgate imparts some wisdom to Kalvin Phillips as frayed nerves set in among the Three Lions

Southgate imparts some wisdom to Kalvin Phillips as frayed nerves set in among the Three Lions

Shell-shocked England fans can't believe their eyes as the Italians go level

Shell-shocked England fans can't believe their eyes as the Italians go level

Shell-shocked England fans can’t believe their eyes as the Italians go level

A devastated England fan holds her head in her hands

A devastated England fan holds her head in her hands

A devastated England fan holds her head in her hands

Luke Shaw netted a stunning goal on the break to settle early nerves in front of 60,000 fans as the Three Lions look to secure their first major trophy in 55 years

Luke Shaw netted a stunning goal on the break to settle early nerves in front of 60,000 fans as the Three Lions look to secure their first major trophy in 55 years

Luke Shaw netted a stunning goal on the break to settle early nerves in front of 60,000 fans as the Three Lions look to secure their first major trophy in 55 years

Prince George laughs with joy with his father Prince William as Kate Middleton claps the Luke Shaw goal which gave England their early lead

Prince George laughs with joy with his father Prince William as Kate Middleton claps the Luke Shaw goal which gave England their early lead

Prince George laughs with joy with his father Prince William as Kate Middleton claps the Luke Shaw goal which gave England their early lead 

Prince George celebrates the goal with mother Kate and father William in the royal box as jubilation grips Wembley after Luke Shaw knocked in an early goal

Prince George celebrates the goal with mother Kate and father William in the royal box as jubilation grips Wembley after Luke Shaw knocked in an early goal

Prince George celebrates the goal with mother Kate and father William in the royal box as jubilation grips Wembley after Luke Shaw knocked in an early goal

A jubilant Prince George threw his arms around his mother Kate as Prince William beamed from ear-to-ear, while Boris Johnson went wild beside wife Carrie as thundering chants of 'It's coming home' rattled around the national stadium

A jubilant Prince George threw his arms around his mother Kate as Prince William beamed from ear-to-ear, while Boris Johnson went wild beside wife Carrie as thundering chants of 'It's coming home' rattled around the national stadium

A jubilant Prince George threw his arms around his mother Kate as Prince William beamed from ear-to-ear, while Boris Johnson went wild beside wife Carrie as thundering chants of ‘It’s coming home’ rattled around the national stadium

Prince George goes wild in the royal box as Luke Shaw gives England an early lead for their dream start in the final

Prince George goes wild in the royal box as Luke Shaw gives England an early lead for their dream start in the final

Prince George goes wild in the royal box as Luke Shaw gives England an early lead for their dream start in the final

Roberto Mancini, Head Coach of Italy reacts in front of Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final

Roberto Mancini, Head Coach of Italy reacts in front of Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final

Roberto Mancini, Head Coach of Italy reacts in front of Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final

Riotous scenes in central London as the England game drags on into extra time

Riotous scenes in central London as the England game drags on into extra time

Riotous scenes in central London as the England game drags on into extra time

A man is led away in handcuffs after wild scenes among football fans in central London

A man is led away in handcuffs after wild scenes among football fans in central London

A man is led away in handcuffs after wild scenes among football fans in central London

Police officers monitor the wild England supporters standing outside St. Martin-in-the-Fields church on the edge of Trafalgar Square

Police officers monitor the wild England supporters standing outside St. Martin-in-the-Fields church on the edge of Trafalgar Square

Police officers monitor the wild England supporters standing outside St. Martin-in-the-Fields church on the edge of Trafalgar Square

Riot police stand guard in Trafalgar Square amid chaotic scenes

Riot police stand guard in Trafalgar Square amid chaotic scenes

Riot police stand guard in Trafalgar Square amid chaotic scenes

Riot police with shields are out in force as England fans mob the streets of London

Riot police with shields are out in force as England fans mob the streets of London

Riot police with shields are out in force as England fans mob the streets of London

Riot police in central London as England fans get out of control

Riot police in central London as England fans get out of control

Riot police in central London as England fans get out of control

He said: ‘I think after coronavirus everyone just wants a reason to be happy and we all got behind it. Even if we don’t get through – we’ve done well to get to the finals. I’ll drink to that.

‘I think England will win. You’ve got to get behind the team – you’ve got to. We’ve got the home advantage and the crowd will be behind them. It’s now or never.’

Mr Brown also said that while it was difficult to find a place to watch the game, he and his friend have managed to book a bar in Chiswick.

He added: ‘It would be a shame if they lose because the atmosphere is so good and everyone’s so happy and that would definitely dent it. But we’ll see.’

Gagz Cheema, 35, from London, thinks that ‘realistically, England won’t win’.

She said: ‘To be fair to get this far is such an achievement, so it’s worth celebrating anyways.

‘If they do win, we’ll celebrate with tequila shots.’

Fans arriving at BOXPARK Croydon for the match were in high spirits.

Friends Danny Valance, 33, and Jonathon Eond, 28, both from London, said: ‘We are anxious, optimistic. It will kick off if we win or lose.’

Mr Valance added: ‘Trust in Southgate.’

John Heffernan, 55, from Birmingham, who is with his daughter Ellie, 18, said: ‘We are quietly confident. It’s coming home.’

Beer was chucked every where at Vinegar Yard in London as fans celebrate England's opening goal against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Beer was chucked every where at Vinegar Yard in London as fans celebrate England's opening goal against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Beer was chucked every where at Vinegar Yard in London as fans celebrate England’s opening goal against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Fans in Newcastle could not believe it as England went 1-0 up in the opening minutes of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

Fans in Newcastle could not believe it as England went 1-0 up in the opening minutes of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

Fans in Newcastle could not believe it as England went 1-0 up in the opening minutes of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley 

England fans at Trafalgar Square could not hide their excitement as the Three Lions took an early lead through Luke Shaw's second minute goal at Wembley

England fans at Trafalgar Square could not hide their excitement as the Three Lions took an early lead through Luke Shaw's second minute goal at Wembley

England fans at Trafalgar Square could not hide their excitement as the Three Lions took an early lead through Luke Shaw’s second minute goal at Wembley

Fans in Liverpool went wild when England scored the opening goal of the Euro 2020 final against Italy

Fans in Liverpool went wild when England scored the opening goal of the Euro 2020 final against Italy

Fans in Liverpool went wild when England scored the opening goal of the Euro 2020 final against Italy

Fans in the Beach Bar in Torquay celebrate as England open the scoring in their Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium

Fans in the Beach Bar in Torquay celebrate as England open the scoring in their Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium

Fans in the Beach Bar in Torquay celebrate as England open the scoring in their Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium

One England fan couldn't believe her eyes as Luke Shaw slotted home inside three minutes to give England an early lead

One England fan couldn't believe her eyes as Luke Shaw slotted home inside three minutes to give England an early lead

One England fan couldn’t believe her eyes as Luke Shaw slotted home inside three minutes to give England an early lead

Luke Shaw of England celebrates with Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips after scoring their side's first goal

Luke Shaw of England celebrates with Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips after scoring their side's first goal

Luke Shaw of England celebrates with Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips after scoring their side’s first goal

Boris Johnson can't believe it as Carrie claps after England took the lead within two minutes

Boris Johnson can't believe it as Carrie claps after England took the lead within two minutes

Boris Johnson can’t believe it as Carrie claps after England took the lead within two minutes

England fans go wild at a screening in Manchester

England fans go wild at a screening in Manchester

England fans go wild at a screening in Manchester

England supporters go wild at a big screen event in Manchester as Shaw rocketed the side to their dream start

England supporters go wild at a big screen event in Manchester as Shaw rocketed the side to their dream start

England supporters go wild at a big screen event in Manchester as Shaw rocketed the side to their dream start 

William, Kate and George celebrate a goal by Luke Shaw

William, Kate and George celebrate a goal by Luke Shaw

William, Kate and George celebrate a goal by Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw peels away from the goal, his arms spread wide in celebration after England took the lead after just two minutes

Luke Shaw peels away from the goal, his arms spread wide in celebration after England took the lead after just two minutes

Luke Shaw peels away from the goal, his arms spread wide in celebration after England took the lead after just two minutes 

England fans go wild at a screening of the match in Manchester after Shaw took the Three Lions to an early lead against Italy

England fans go wild at a screening of the match in Manchester after Shaw took the Three Lions to an early lead against Italy

England fans go wild at a screening of the match in Manchester after Shaw took the Three Lions to an early lead against Italy

Riotous scenes outside Wembley as people crashed through barriers while celebrating the goal

Riotous scenes outside Wembley as people crashed through barriers while celebrating the goal

Riotous scenes outside Wembley as people crashed through barriers while celebrating the goal

An England fan jumps for joy as fans hug and hold their heads in their hands in disbelief as England take an early lead at Wembley

An England fan jumps for joy as fans hug and hold their heads in their hands in disbelief as England take an early lead at Wembley

An England fan jumps for joy as fans hug and hold their heads in their hands in disbelief as England take an early lead at Wembley

Fans at the 4TheFans Park in Manchester screamed for joy as England took an early lead against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Fans at the 4TheFans Park in Manchester screamed for joy as England took an early lead against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Fans at the 4TheFans Park in Manchester screamed for joy as England took an early lead against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

England fans in the fan zone in Trafford Park celebrate England's early goal against Italy at Wembley

England fans in the fan zone in Trafford Park celebrate England's early goal against Italy at Wembley

England fans in the fan zone in Trafford Park celebrate England’s early goal against Italy at Wembley

England fans jump for joy as the Three Lions take an early lead against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

England fans jump for joy as the Three Lions take an early lead against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

England fans jump for joy as the Three Lions take an early lead against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

England fans are in dreamland after Luke Shaw put England ahead within two minutes in their Euro 2020 final against Italy

England fans are in dreamland after Luke Shaw put England ahead within two minutes in their Euro 2020 final against Italy

England fans are in dreamland after Luke Shaw put England ahead within two minutes in their Euro 2020 final against Italy

Fans celebrate by lighting flares on the walls of the National Gallery as England go 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Fans celebrate by lighting flares on the walls of the National Gallery as England go 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Fans celebrate by lighting flares on the walls of the National Gallery as England go 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final

England fans celebrate as Luke Shaw puts the Three Lions 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium

England fans celebrate as Luke Shaw puts the Three Lions 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium

England fans celebrate as Luke Shaw puts the Three Lions 1-0 up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium 

The British Beer & Pub Association predicts England fans will buy 7.1 million pints as they watch England’s first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup.

By the end of the competition it is estimated that £815million will have been spent in pubs and hospitality venues, with 32.6 million pints sold, according to a report by Vouchercodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.

Ahead of the match, The Queen, Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent the team best wishes, while thousands of England supporters urge the side to ‘bring it home’ – with some fans partying last night while others admitted they didn’t sleep because they were so excited.

In a video message on the official England football Twitter account, Southgate – who has been praised for his leadership of the team – said the fans’ support has given them a ‘huge lift’.

He said: ‘We hope that you’ve enjoyed watching us play. I’m very grateful to all of the players and the incredible staff I’ve got with me, that we’ve been able to get to our first final for 55 years. But of course we know now we’ve got to deliver for you, so we’ll be doing everything we can.

He said: ‘We hope that you’ve enjoyed watching us play. I’m very grateful to all of the players and the incredible staff I’ve got with me, that we’ve been able to get to our first final for 55 years. But of course we know now we’ve got to deliver for you, so we’ll be doing everything we can.’

The Duchess of Cambridge talks Prince George through proceedings as Prince William watches on

The Duchess of Cambridge talks Prince George through proceedings as Prince William watches on

The Duchess of Cambridge talks Prince George through proceedings as Prince William watches on

Boris Johnson with wife Carrie waves from the stands

Boris Johnson with wife Carrie waves from the stands

Boris Johnson with wife Carrie waves from the stands

Kate and Prince George watch on as the match gets underway

Kate and Prince George watch on as the match gets underway

Kate and Prince George watch on as the match gets underway

Boris appeared to exhibit some early sings of nerves as he scratched his head

Boris appeared to exhibit some early sings of nerves as he scratched his head

Boris appeared to exhibit some early sings of nerves as he scratched his head 

England fans bellow 'It's coming home' in the stands as the players get ready for the match against Italy

England fans bellow 'It's coming home' in the stands as the players get ready for the match against Italy

England fans bellow ‘It’s coming home’ in the stands as the players get ready for the match against Italy 

England fans hold up a St George's Cross outside Wembley stadium as thousands gathered outside the west London arena, many of them without tickets

England fans hold up a St George's Cross outside Wembley stadium as thousands gathered outside the west London arena, many of them without tickets

England fans hold up a St George’s Cross outside Wembley stadium as thousands gathered outside the west London arena, many of them without tickets 

A young England fan with his face painted with the cross of St George sits on a man's shoulders ahead of the match

A young England fan with his face painted with the cross of St George sits on a man's shoulders ahead of the match

A young England fan with his face painted with the cross of St George sits on a man’s shoulders ahead of the match 

Fans stormed through the barriers

Fans stormed through the barriers

Fans push through security

Fans push through security

Dozens of football fans were spotted pushing through the security barriers outside the stadium earlier today

Football fans stormed through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England's nail-biting fight against Italy

Football fans stormed through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England's nail-biting fight against Italy

Football fans stormed through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England’s nail-biting fight against Italy

The Duke of Cambridge praised manager Southgate, captain Harry Kane and ‘every member of the England team on and off the pitch’ in a video message on his official Twitter account, as he said: ‘I can’t really believe this is happening’ and wished the squad ‘the very best of luck’.   

William, the President of the FA, said: ‘Gareth, Harry and to every member of the England team on and off the pitch, just want to wish you the very best of luck tonight. What a team performance it’s been, everyone in the squad has played their part. All the backroom team as well have been truly essentially.  

‘I can’t really believe this is happening. So exciting and I just wish you the very best of luck. You bring out the very best of England and we are all behind you. The whole country is behind you. So, bring it home.’ 

England captain Harry Kane said his team hopes to do the nation proud in their bid for Euro 2020 glory. He told reporters at a press conference last night: ‘We want to go and bring the trophy home’ – adding: ‘We know how much it means to the English fans all over the country so we’re proud to be representing them and hopefully we can do them proud again.’

The Queen paid tribute to the ‘spirit, commitment and pride’ of the squad in a good luck message ahead of tonight’s final, while her grandson the Duke of Cambridge said it is ‘so exciting’ to get to this point.   

The Prime Minister told Southgate and the players they had ‘already made history’ by reaching the final, writing: ‘You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift that trophy too. We are not just hoping or praying. 

‘We believe in you, Gareth, and your incredible squad.’       

A number of schools have already said they will allow pupils to start later on Monday if they wish to and some employers are considering letting staff enjoy a celebratory – or consolatory – lie-in after what could be a very late night. 

The final is due to kick off at 8pm and will finish by 10pm if it ends in normal time, but could end closer to 11pm if there is extra time or a penalty shootout. 

The official England Twitter account posted this morning: ‘A matchday like no other’ – sparking a flurry of excited and anxious messages. One expectant fan wrote: ‘Massive day ahead, first final for @England in my lifetime. Wherever you’re watching it, whatever your plans are, enjoy! Proud of the squad and what they’ve done so far, but they can lift that trophy!’

Another said: ‘Today is the day! The sun’s out, enjoy it, embrace it, soak up the atmosphere!! The excitement, the nerves, the butterflies in the stomach. Go mad!! Who knows when or if this day will come again! #ItsComingHome’.

One tweeted: ‘Been up since 5am cos of today. Couldn’t sleep at all! C’mon @England #ItsComingHome #ENG’ – with another writing on Twitter: ‘Morning everyone, anybody got any sleep last night or feeling nervous ahead of #ITAENG #ItsComingHome Come on #ENG @England’.  

The atmosphere near the official fan zone in Trafalgar Square is lively ahead of the Euro 2020 final, with pubs packed and large crowds holding England flags and wearing shirts with Three Lions on the chest.

Fans without tickets for the fan zone are also gathered in the area, and some can be heard chanting and singing the national anthem. 

Another, named 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.’

England fans have been singing Sweet Caroline and It's Coming Home on the country's greatest footballing occasion in 55 years

England fans have been singing Sweet Caroline and It's Coming Home on the country's greatest footballing occasion in 55 years

England fans have been singing Sweet Caroline and It’s Coming Home on the country’s greatest footballing occasion in 55 years

Fans cheer the players on as they start their warm up routines before the 8pm start

Fans cheer the players on as they start their warm up routines before the 8pm start

Fans cheer the players on as they start their warm up routines before the 8pm start

Thousands of England fans cheer on their team outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

Thousands of England fans cheer on their team outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

Thousands of England fans cheer on their team outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

Jubilation among fans, several with dyed-blonde hair al la Phil Foden, on the streets of London as beers flow ahead of the greatest footballing occasion in 55 years

Jubilation among fans, several with dyed-blonde hair al la Phil Foden, on the streets of London as beers flow ahead of the greatest footballing occasion in 55 years

Jubilation among fans, several with dyed-blonde hair al la Phil Foden, on the streets of London as beers flow ahead of the greatest footballing occasion in 55 years 

Thousands of fans walk towards Wembley, which will host 60,000 tonight – around 70 per cent of its full capacity due to the pandemic

The England team coach is cheered off to Wembley by hundreds of jubilant fans in Hertfordshire on Sunday afternoon

The England team coach is cheered off to Wembley by hundreds of jubilant fans in Hertfordshire on Sunday afternoon

The England team coach is cheered off to Wembley by hundreds of jubilant fans in Hertfordshire on Sunday afternoon

England fans clutch onto smoke canisters and cans of booze as they make their way to Wembley

England fans clutch onto smoke canisters and cans of booze as they make their way to Wembley

England fans clutch onto smoke canisters and cans of booze as they make their way to Wembley 

Red smoke billows into the sky as fans descend on Wembley, west London

Red smoke billows into the sky as fans descend on Wembley, west London

Red smoke billows into the sky as fans descend on Wembley, west London

The Henri Delaunay Trophy gleams on a podium as rain falls on Wembley stadium ahead of tonight's final

The Henri Delaunay Trophy gleams on a podium as rain falls on Wembley stadium ahead of tonight's final

The Henri Delaunay Trophy gleams on a podium as rain falls on Wembley stadium ahead of tonight’s final

One supporter said the country ‘needed’ an international tournament win. Paul Gunder, 44, from Basingstoke, said: ‘I’ve heard all the usual stories from my dad and grandad about England winning a major tournament in 1966.

‘Obviously as years go by you begin to think it’s never happening, but suddenly here we are, in a final.

‘I know some Italians and work with them, but today is our day, we’ve needed this as a country, the last year or so has been rough. I think we’ll win it by a goal.’

Friends Ellie Bass and Aimee McIntosh had gathered in the West End to savour the big game atmosphere.

Ellie , 21, from Portsmouth, said: ‘Im hoping for an England win. My mum has predicted 3-2 to England. She’s got a bit of a sixth sense and has been right about these things before and so I hope she is about this too.

‘I think it’s going to be a great game but my nerves are going to be shredded.’

Aimee, 25, from Streatham, South London, said: ‘I’m feeling very nervous but quietly confident, I think this has to be our time. England have exceeded all our expectations but they have to go one stage further and bring it home.

‘We’re going to watch it in a pub in Paddington but wanted to take in the atmosphere in the West End, it’s electric. We want to come back here afterwards – hopefully to celebrate.’

Matt Green, 21, travelled into London from his home in Hull especially to soak up the atmosphere as fans head to Wembley. He said: ‘It’s been brilliant, every where you look it’s England. People have got the St George’s flag and are having a ball – let’s hope it lasts.

‘I think England have got better the more they’ve gone through the tournament and think we’ll beat Italy 2-0. But they’re a good team and it’s going to be very difficult. To see England in the final is incredible- they just have to go and win it now!’

Drinking at the Leicester Arms in Soho, Rob Powell, 48, travelled from his home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire to watch the big game. He said: ‘There isn’t any where else I’d rather watch it, London is the centre of the footballing world today.

‘Everywhere you look, people have a football shirt on or are draped in the flag and the pubs are heaving. 

‘I don’t want to tempt fate by predicting a score but they’ll have to be at their best to beat Italy. But they’ve showed a lot of resilience so far and there’s no reason why they can’t win our first bit of silverware since ’66.’

Meanwhile, Peter Faiers, 47, was going to watch Surrey vs Somerset at the Oval before catching the big football match tonight. He said: ‘I’m going to watch the cricket with a few friends and then we’re going to throw all our support behind the football team.

‘I think we’re good enough to win it but Italy are a strong side and aren’t going to make it easy for us. But we finally have a chance to exorcise some of the heartache of the past – this team has done us proud.’

It wasn’t just England fans feeling confident, however. Sporting an Italian shirt, Daniel Ferrara, 29, originally from Salerno, southern Italy, said: ‘I think it’s going to be 2-1 to us. We are on a good unbeaten run and I’m confident it’s going to continue.

‘England will be a tough opponent, they have home advantage which will spur them on but Italy know how to win. I’ve had a bit of banter with the England fans but it’s all been very good natured.’

Across England, fans have been savouring the run-up to a game that could see the country crowned champions of Europe. Houses have been bedecked with flags amid a surge in demand for England-themed paraphernalia and the Shard in London was lit up in the team colours.

Residents on Wales Street, in Oldham, Greater Manchester have even patriotically renamed their road in honour of the Three Lions – England Street, with a new red-and-white sign erected above the original. 

A good luck message from David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds – who are behind the anthemic Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) – has been projected onto the white cliffs of Dover ahead of the match. 

A couple paid tribute to Southgate, Kane and Raheem Sterling ahead of England’s Euro 2020 final with a huge mural on the side of their house.

Kate and Paul William asked street artists Nathan Parker – aka N4T4 – to create the piece to help them celebrate England’s progress. It has turned the wall, at their home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, into a hotspot for fans who have been visiting ‘in droves’ to see the mural.

Kate said: ‘He woke up after the semi-finals and said ‘I have had a dream’ and the dream was we have got to decorate that wall. He said he wanted something amazing, and said ‘if they build it they will come’ and said he wanted something historic and about the moment.’

‘The community went going crazy for it – coming in their droves, pipping horns, photos galore, music playing, its brought the community together. They’re seeing what art can do too, that’s what’s happened, ultimately, and football has brought everyone together.

‘The husband’s dream was a pretty good one to have, I’ll let him have that one.’

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham insists England’s ‘band of brothers’ remain calm ahead of the final.

‘The mood in the camp is very calm. They are aware of what a fantastic opportunity this is, they are aware of the excitement throughout the country, but the mood in the camp is calm and they are looking forward to it,’ Bullingham told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One.

England supporters at Wembley clamber onto a bus ahead of the Three Lions' historic Euros clash against Italy tonight

England supporters at Wembley clamber onto a bus ahead of the Three Lions' historic Euros clash against Italy tonight

England supporters at Wembley clamber onto a bus ahead of the Three Lions’ historic Euros clash against Italy tonight 

A man throws an object as football fans gather in Leicester Square ahead of England's Euros final against Italy

A man throws an object as football fans gather in Leicester Square ahead of England's Euros final against Italy

A man throws an object as football fans gather in Leicester Square ahead of England’s Euros final against Italy

An England fan in Leicester Square prepares to hurl a tree torn from the ground amid riotous scenes in the capital

An England fan in Leicester Square prepares to hurl a tree torn from the ground amid riotous scenes in the capital

An England fan in Leicester Square prepares to hurl a tree torn from the ground amid riotous scenes in the capital

England fans gather in Trafalgar Square ahead of the match, while one supporter dressed as a knight climbs a traffic light

England fans gather in Trafalgar Square ahead of the match, while one supporter dressed as a knight climbs a traffic light

England fans gather in Trafalgar Square ahead of the match, while one supporter dressed as a knight climbs a traffic light

Excitement builds in the Boxpark Croydon as millions around the country pack into outdoor seating arenas to watch the final

Excitement builds in the Boxpark Croydon as millions around the country pack into outdoor seating arenas to watch the final

Excitement builds in the Boxpark Croydon as millions around the country pack into outdoor seating arenas to watch the final

A Fan lets off a flare at Leicester Square, London before the UEFA Euro 2020 Final between Italy and England

A Fan lets off a flare at Leicester Square, London before the UEFA Euro 2020 Final between Italy and England

Jubilant crowds at a screening in Croydon dance to music

Jubilant crowds at a screening in Croydon dance to music

A fan lets off a flare in Leicester Square ahead of the final, left, while jubilant crowds at a screening in Croydon dance to music

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer poses for a selfie with his wife Victoria before the game starts

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer poses for a selfie with his wife Victoria before the game starts

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer poses for a selfie with his wife Victoria before the game starts

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wearing a Three Lions shirt arrives at the ground with wife Victoria

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wearing a Three Lions shirt arrives at the ground with wife Victoria

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wearing a Three Lions shirt arrives at the ground with wife Victoria

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

Metropolitan police officers detain a man in front of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square

An injured England fan by the steps of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, London

An injured England fan by the steps of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, London

An injured England fan by the steps of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, London

A man jumps from the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

A man jumps from the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

A man jumps from the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match

Riot police are deployed in central London as fans get out of hand ahead of tonight's clash at Wembley

Riot police are deployed in central London as fans get out of hand ahead of tonight's clash at Wembley

Riot police are deployed in central London as fans get out of hand ahead of tonight’s clash at Wembley

Riot police are out in force in Trafalgar Square as fans flock to central London to soak up the atmosphere

Riot police are out in force in Trafalgar Square as fans flock to central London to soak up the atmosphere

Riot police are out in force in Trafalgar Square as fans flock to central London to soak up the atmosphere 

Fans let of smoke canisters and sing songs on the steps of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, Londo

Fans let of smoke canisters and sing songs on the steps of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, Londo

Fans let of smoke canisters and sing songs on the steps of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, Londo

‘I think one of the things that Gareth (Southgate) has managed to do, along with the support team, is build a really strong environment, there’s a fantastic ‘band of brothers’ feeling and togetherness, but there is also a really strong resilience there and they are really supportive of each other.

‘He (Southgate) is genuinely calm, he’s one of the calmest people in the country. He is so well prepared and he has a good support team around him. He is in a good place.’ 

Former England right-back Gary Neville, who along with Southgate experienced semi-final heartbreak as a player at Euro 96, stressed that today was ‘not a day to be nervous’.

Discussing how the players would be feeling on Sunday morning compared to his own experiences with the national team, Neville told Sky Sports News: ‘If you think about 1996 and Gareth’s abuse he received after missing that penalty, (David) Beckham in ’98 and then my brother (Phil Neville) in 2000, it was a very pressurised situation with England because you weren’t performing at a level and there was a different way in which they approached it from a media point as well.

‘These lads haven’t got that cynicism, they haven’t got that pain and dismay embedded within themselves, so I suspect that now they must be feeling on top of the world this morning, excited.

‘I know there are a lot of fans nervous up and down the country but this isn’t a day to be nervous. I don’t feel nervous at all. It’s a moment and a day that this country’s been waiting for such a long time. I think the pressure moment was actually against Scotland or against Germany in the second round. 

Source: Daily Mail UK

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