As fans across the country gear up to cheer on the team during Sunday’s final against Italy — the first men’s major tournament final since 1966 — overwhelming optimism and faith in the England team has proven to be the quintessence of togetherness.
Here are some heartwarming examples of some of the ways Euro 2020 has brought England together.
Newlyweds run into fans celebrating England’s win
A video posted to Twitter on 7 July showed fans, already ecstatic over England’s win, cheering on newlywed couple Jay and Rengin.
Rengin was still in her white dress, while Jay sported a black tuxedo. “Kiss! Kiss!” the crowd could be heard shouting, before erupting with joy as the couple kissed.
At one point, one excited man rushes over to hug the groom. Commenting on the video, Jay said it was an “amazing night for sure”.
Stem cell donor receives tickets to Euro 2020 final
Sam Astley, the man who gave up his tickets to watch the match on Wednesday because it coincided with his plans to donate stem cells has been given tickets to the Euro 2020 tournament’s final.
His girlfriend had won tickets to England v Denmark in a draw, but Astley said there was “no chance” that he would delay the procedure, and instead chose to watch the match from his hospital bed.
After earning high praise from Gary Lineker, Astley’s story went viral on Twitter, leading to Euro 2020 sponsor Vivo stepping in and offering him tickets to Sunday’s game.
Boys at Islamic school celebrate Harry Kane’s goal
On 8 July, journalist Hannah Al-Othman shared a video of a group of schoolboys at an Islamic school huddled around a laptop anxiously watching the semi-final match.
Moments later, the whole room erupts in celebration after England captain Harry Kane score the winning goal.
“A friend in Blackburn has sent me this video: boys at a local Muslim school celebrating Harry Kane’s goal last night. It fills my heart that national football is now for everyone,” Al-Othman wrote.
In a follow-up tweet, she explained that while offers to buy the boys a television were “very kind”, she believes they were crowded around a laptop because their teachers did not know they were watching.
When Euro 2020 got the band back together
In appreciation of England manager, Gareth Southgate, fans rewrote the lyrics to Atomic Kitten’s hit single “Whole Again”, to create a new football chant, “Southgate You’re The One”.
The chant proved so popular that the girl group reunited to sing the new take on their song at several venues, including a performance at Boxpark, Croydon, before releasing it as an official single.
Bhangra dancers celebrate England’s win
After a year of lockdown restrictions, England’s success in the tournament has done wonders in lifting the nation’s spirit.
On 9 July, a parade of bhangra dancers joined forces with a local dance studio in Wolverhampton to parade through the city’s streets in celebration of England’s win.
Footage from the day, posted on social media, shows a crowd of people, both white and from the Sikh community, dancing to the sound of dhol drums as they make their way through the city centre.
The heartwarming video quickly went viral, with one person writing that it “made [his] heart soar”. “This [video’s] showing the true diversity of #Wolverhampton. Top quality guys,” another woman said.
‘Overtly queer’ fan attends match as their authentic self
Football fan Joe was amongst those in the crowd at Wembley on 29 June when England beat Germany 2-0.
Ahead of England’s match against Germany on 29 June, football fan Joe posted a selfie on social media, telling their followers that it was the first time they were attending a game at Wembley in “full makeup and overtly queer”.
In the photograph posted to Twitter, Joe is seen with an England fan on one cheek, the Pride flag on the other and wearing lipstick. They said that despite being “petrified” before the game, they had absolutely “no issues”.
“Also, this is a really small and personal point but today was my first game at Wembley in full makeup and overtly queer (as opposed to just camp). Absolutely no issues from fans and some lovely chats. Despite being absolutely petrified pre game, really proud of our fans,” they said.
The tweet caught the attention of England midfielder Jordan Henderson, who said “football is for everyone”.
“Hi Joe great to hear you enjoyed the game as you should. No one should be afraid to go and support their club or country because football is for everyone no matter what. Thanks for your support, enjoy the rest of the Euros,” Henderson tweeted.
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