England fans are 90 minutes away from seeing the men’s national team win a major tournament for the first time in more than half a century after Harry Kane sent the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final.
After the captain scored the winning goal on the rebound after his extra-time penalty had been saved,60,000 fans in Wembley were sent into delirium along with millions of fans around the country.
The squad will play Italy in the decider at Wembley on Sunday night, the first major final for the men since the World Cup win over West Germany in 1966. England’s women were losing finalists at Euro 1984 and 2009.
Jubilant supporters, including the Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, celebrated inside Wembley as the crowd serenaded the team with the Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) anthem and new fans’ favourite, Sweet Caroline.
Joyful scenes were repeated outside the stadium. In pubs and fan zones, supporters lobbed several of the estimated 10m pints bought on Wednesday into the air in celebration, while others removed their shirts, embraced strangers, or simply wept.
Fans gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London after the final whistle, waving England flags and merging together in a huge crowd.
One supporter, Oliver Ways, 28, said: “This time it’s coming home, the momentum is with us, I don’t care what anyone says.
“The game was just how we wanted it. I can’t believe I’m saying this but England are in a final.”
Another England fan Vic Richards, 22, said: “I’m still trying to compute what happened, I’ve never seen England make a final.
“It’s beautiful, it’s unbelievable, I love this country, the players gave it their all. This is an historic occasion, we may never see this again – now we can start to believe.”
There were also joyous scenes in Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and many other towns and cities across the country.
Many fans tried to stay out late to enjoy the win, with a few dozen supporters in Leicester Square climbing on top of a number 9 double-decker bus to Aldwych, cheering and holding a St George’s flag aloft before crowds were broken up by police.
Met Police later said 20 arrests were made in London, with alleged offences including “common assault, public order and assault on police”.
After a night of high drama, former England captain Beckham joined the celebrities saluting the team’s achievement.
He wrote on Instagram: “Big night tonight and proud to have been stood there watching Gareth and the boys make history... Hard fight to the end, but wow was it worth it.. well done boys & well done to the incredible fans in the stadium and around the country what a night...”
The singer Adele shared a video of her wild celebrations at home sparked by Kane scoring the rebound from a penalty. She wrote on Instagram: “ITS BLOODY COMING HOME.”
Pop star Dua Lipa shared pictures on Instagram from her watch party - including a plate of digestive biscuits and red crosses painted on her cheeks - and said: “IT’S COMING HOME.”
Earlier, fans released red-coloured smoke and sang as they swarmed out of the stadium following England’s win.
Addi Hassan, 21, described the win as “absolutely incredible, absolutely world class”.
England fan Lucy Millard, both 18, was elated as she left Wembley, saying: “It’s the first time in so many years we’ve been in the semi-finals so it’s absolutely amazing. It’s coming home.”
And John Engall, 65, who was a schoolboy during England’s only previous major triumphin 1966 said he felt “absolutely fantastic” after watching the match from Boxpark in Croydon.
“I remember 66 but I’m much more ecstatic now than when I was 10,” he said. “It was a brilliant game, it could have gone either way but well, it seems to have gone our way.”