Fans hail England’s win a ‘victory for girls across the country’

There was a carnival-like atmosphere as a huge sea of England flags were carried out of the stadium after the match.

31 July 2022

England fans have described the team’s Euros win a “victory for girls across the country”.

Among the almost 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, where the Lionesses beat Germany in the final, were family groups, including young women and girls.

There was a carnival-like atmosphere as a huge sea of England flags were carried out of the stadium after the match, with supporters cheering, blowing horns and singing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Queen’s We Are The Champions.

Two young girls with St George flags painted on their faces were excitedly singing It’s Coming Home.

England v Germany
England fans celebrate at Wembley (James Manning/PA)

Large groups embraced and danced with each other.

Megan Morinis, from Chelmsford, Essex, who watched the game with her boyfriend Max, told the PA news agency: “There were so many young girls and women here to watch this match – who says we don’t like football?

“They played so well against a really good team in Germany and represented this country so well.

“It wasn’t just a historic sporting win, it was a victory for girls across the country.”

Mary Caine, 33, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, who watched the game with her daughter Sam, eight, said: “The girls finally brought football home.

“We’re delighted, it’s historic, it was magic in there and a breakthrough moment for women’s sport.”

England v Germany
England fans celebrate in the stands (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Other fans said the atmosphere inside the stadium had been “electric” and a huge “step forward” for women’s sport.

Another said the Lionesses’ performance was “superb” and that those in the team would go down as “legends”.

During the match dozens of ticketless fans were watching the match on their phones close to the ground.

Craig Stephens, 58, and his wife Julie, 54, from Twickenham, south-west London, said: “We just wanted to be around Wembley while the game was on, it really is historic.”

When England went 1-0 up, many began cheering and clapping, while those in a nearby pub could be heard chanting.

Maria Quen, 27, from Willesden, north-west London, said: “I had a feeling Toone would do something, we’ve got our substitutions right the whole tournament.”

The stadium could be heard erupting when the second goal was scored, with a short delay before those outside saw it.

England v Germany
England fans celebrate with body paint at Wembley Stadium (James Manning/PA)

Lucy Richards, 19, told PA: “I can’t believe it, what a time to score.”

A group of German fans, draped in the red, black and yellow flag, were visibly upset.

At full-time, people in the streets began celebrating and cars were beeping their horns.

One police officer was seen telling his colleague not to watch the match on her phone.

Supporters entering the stadium before the match at 5pm had been largely positive and calm, with very little trouble for police.

Groups of young women were chanting “It’s coming home”, with fans outside pubs and restaurants joining in.

Young children were also seen leading the chanting as their parents followed close behind.

The nearby BoxPark was also packed and noisy, with a performance from pop group S Club 7.

Chelsea Women’s football manager Emma Hayes was urging the crowds to chant and cheer louder.

Rachael Wilson, from Preston, Lancashire, was with her daughter Holly, who plays for Manchester United’s under-13 girls.

Ms Wilson said: “We are so proud of the team for showing that girls and women can play football.”

Childminder Helen Charlesworth, from Orpington, Kent, was with her daughter Darcey, 22, who has enjoyed football from the age of eight and started playing with boys as there were no girls’ teams around.

Despite playing at centres of excellence, and doing “so well”, her daughter missed out due to a “lack of funding” in the women’s game.

Ms Charlesworth said: “The fact that the women’s game is growing is amazing.

“This tournament has definitely helped grow the game and support for it.”

Emma Newman, 21, a student from Whitby, North Yorkshire, said: “It’s a really nice atmosphere, people are just here to see the match and nothing else.

“It’s right that fans aren’t causing trouble, these women are inspiring and deserve to be supported properly.”

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