England take to training ground for last time as they prepare to play Italy in Euro 2020 final

England’s players have taken to the training pitch for one final time this summer as the squad prepares to take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

Fan favourites Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford were pictured warming up at their St George’s Park headquarters in Burton upon Trent, 24 hours before their crunch clash with Italy.

Manchester City’s homegrown midfielder Phil Foden sat out of the morning session with ‘a minor precaution’, reports Sky News – although he and the other 24 members of the England squad tested negative on their UEFA mandated pre-match Covid tests.

While the players put the finishing touches on their preparations, manager Gareth Southgate issued a rallying cry to 35million patriotic fans and invoked the courage of World War Two ahead of the epic fixture.

He urged the nation to forget the negatives and instead spread a message of unity, declaring: ‘England has so much to be proud of.’

England captain Harry Kane (centre) and defender Harry Maguire are pictured warming up at the squad's St George's Park headquarters in Burton upon Trent this morning

England captain Harry Kane (centre) and defender Harry Maguire are pictured warming up at the squad's St George's Park headquarters in Burton upon Trent this morning

England captain Harry Kane (centre) and defender Harry Maguire are pictured warming up at the squad’s St George’s Park headquarters in Burton upon Trent this morning

England manager Gareth Southgate has issued a rallying cry to 35million patriotic fans to 'stop looking at the negatives of our own country' ahead of England's crunch match against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

England manager Gareth Southgate has issued a rallying cry to 35million patriotic fans to 'stop looking at the negatives of our own country' ahead of England's crunch match against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

England manager Gareth Southgate has issued a rallying cry to 35million patriotic fans to ‘stop looking at the negatives of our own country’ ahead of England’s crunch match against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, 21, trained with the squad on July 9, but sat out this morning's session with a 'minor precaution'

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, 21, trained with the squad on July 9, but sat out this morning's session with a 'minor precaution'

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, 21, trained with the squad on July 9, but sat out this morning’s session with a ‘minor precaution’

The Three Lions squad appeared in good spirits as Harry Kane and Conor Coady share a laugh while at training this morning

The Three Lions squad appeared in good spirits as Harry Kane and Conor Coady share a laugh while at training this morning

The Three Lions squad appeared in good spirits as Harry Kane and Conor Coady share a laugh while at training this morning

Eyes on the prize: England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant manager Steve Holland (right) are locked in conversation as they watch the squad train at St George's Park

Eyes on the prize: England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant manager Steve Holland (right) are locked in conversation as they watch the squad train at St George's Park

Eyes on the prize: England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant manager Steve Holland (right) are locked in conversation as they watch the squad train at St George’s Park

Britons tuning into tomorrow night’s clash are armed with the fervent hope that captain Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory – breaking the country’s 55-year trophy drought. 

In Wembley Stadium itself, almost 70,000 fans will erupt into a cauldron of noise for the epic match, which kicks off at 8pm.

Gareth Southgate has urged the nation to ‘stop looking at the negatives of our own country’ because ‘England has so much to be proud of’ as he rallied 35million patriotic fans ahead of tomorrow night’s Euro 2020 final.

Invoking the courage of a Second World War generation, England’s manager said Britain should not be ashamed of its history – as he praised his squad’s role in driving ‘tolerance and inclusion’. 

Southgate’s England squad has been hailed for its social conscience which has seen squad members saluted for taking the knee against racism, making a stand on donating to the NHS, and taking the fight for free school means to Downing Street.

But as well as acknowledging a forward-looking nation, Southgate – whose grandfather saw service in the Second World War – is keen to hail its history and values.  

In other developments: 

  • Boris Johnson will announce a special one-off Bank Holiday – likely to be in August – on Monday if England win tomorrow;
  • Euros fever has delivered a £3.4billion spending spree on partying, drinking, souvenir merchandise and supersize TVs, analysts said;
  • Schools across England announced they will allow pupils a lie-in on Monday following the final;
  • The NHS is braced for a surge in heart attacks tomorrow as the stress of watching football takes its toll on the nation’s health;
  • EU chief Ursula von der Leyen – who threatened a vaccine war with the UK earlier this year – announced she will be supporting Italy;
  • Ministers have been told to stop using the phrase ‘It’s coming home’ – a reference to the England football anthem Three Lions – because it annoys other countries.
Gareth Southgate (pictured) has urged the nation to 'stop looking at the negatives of our own country' because 'England has so much to be proud of' ahead of the Euro 2020 final tomorrow night

Gareth Southgate (pictured) has urged the nation to 'stop looking at the negatives of our own country' because 'England has so much to be proud of' ahead of the Euro 2020 final tomorrow night

Gareth Southgate (pictured) has urged the nation to ‘stop looking at the negatives of our own country’ because ‘England has so much to be proud of’ ahead of the Euro 2020 final tomorrow night

As many as 35million people are set to cheer on the Three Lions against Italy in the final of Euro 2020 in the fervent hope that Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory. Pictured: The team celebrating their semi final win on Wednesday

As many as 35million people are set to cheer on the Three Lions against Italy in the final of Euro 2020 in the fervent hope that Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory. Pictured: The team celebrating their semi final win on Wednesday

As many as 35million people are set to cheer on the Three Lions against Italy in the final of Euro 2020 in the fervent hope that Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory. Pictured: The team celebrating their semi final win on Wednesday

Last night, Southgate spoke out about the huge wave of patriotic support offered up to the Three Lions (players Jordan Pickford and Raheem Sterling, pictured) throughout the tournament

Last night, Southgate spoke out about the huge wave of patriotic support offered up to the Three Lions (players Jordan Pickford and Raheem Sterling, pictured) throughout the tournament

Last night, Southgate spoke out about the huge wave of patriotic support offered up to the Three Lions (players Jordan Pickford and Raheem Sterling, pictured) throughout the tournament

Tomorrow night the nation will come to a standstill, united in the fervent hope that Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory

Tomorrow night the nation will come to a standstill, united in the fervent hope that Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory

Tomorrow night the nation will come to a standstill, united in the fervent hope that Harry Kane will follow in the golden footsteps of Bobby Moore and lead England to glory

The England manager said: ‘We have so many things here that we should be proud of that we probably underestimate that.

‘We are always looking at the negatives of our own country and yet we have got so much to be proud of and so much talent coming through in all industries really.’

Gareth Southgate’s quotes in full 

We have so many things here that we should be proud of that we probably underestimate that.

We are always looking at the negatives of our own country and yet we have got so much to be proud of and so much talent coming through in all industries really.

For an island our size we’ve got an incredible influence on the world and we’ve got to keep that in a positive way.

There are historic things that we should be proud of. We’ve had unbelievable inventions in this country.

People have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back.

You can’t hide that some of the energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that. I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what that story was.

At heart I go back to the values that my parents gave me and treating people as you would want to be treated. Just respectful, really. 

There are positive things that we could help to change or influence in society.

The longer I’ve been in the role the more I’ve understood the importance for our fans of that connection with the team.

They felt part of it and that inclusivity is really important to us because I think that’s what modern England is.

We know it hasn’t always been the case and there’s historic reasons for that, but that level of tolerance and inclusion is what we have to be about moving forward. 

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He added: ‘For an island our size we’ve got an incredible influence on the world and we’ve got to keep that in a positive way. 

‘There are historic things that we should be proud of. We’ve had unbelievable inventions in this country.’

Southgate acknowledged that Britain’s history likely contributed to the support from the 40,000 fans inside Wembley when England beat Germany in the round of 16.

He said: ‘People have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back. 

‘You can’t hide that some of the energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that. I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what that story was.

‘At heart I go back to the values that my parents gave me and treating people as you would want to be treated. Just respectful, really.’ 

He added that ‘there are positive things that we could help to change or influence in society’.

He said: ‘The longer I’ve been in the role the more I’ve understood the importance for our fans of that connection with the team.

‘They felt part of it and that inclusivity is really important to us because I think that’s what modern England is.

‘We know it hasn’t always been the case and there’s historic reasons for that, but that level of tolerance and inclusion is what we have to be about moving forward.’

Last night, Kane, 27, said he felt an extra surge of ‘motivation and confidence’ after being compared to Moore. 

The two England captains were born just eight miles away from each other in east London – albeit some 52 years apart.

In a rallying cry to his teammates, Kane said: ‘These are the opportunities you have to grab with both hands.’ 

Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in that 1966 World Cup final to beat West Germany 4-2, lent his support to the players yesterday.

The 79-year-old told the Daily Mail: ‘This isn’t a football match, it’s a national event. Millions of people who don’t normally watch football will all be united, cheering England on.

‘We’re very fortunate as a country to have this huge boost to the spirits during the pandemic and if you are going to pick a time to do well, now’s that time.’

He added: ‘Everything about this talented young England squad reminds me of that hard-nosed bunch of professionals we were back in 1966. I see that same camaraderie and determination.’

Villages, towns and cities across England have been bedecked with St George’s flags as the fervour grips the nation.  

Tomorrow’s final could be the most watched event in UK broadcast history, media analyst Claire Enders predicted.

The biggest UK audience ever recorded is still the 1966 World Cup final, which is estimated to have been seen live by 32.3 million across the BBC and ITV. Both broadcasters will also share coverage of the Euro 2020 final.

A triumph against the impressive Italians would be a welcome tonic after the pain of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gareth Southgate’s men will be urged on by Prince William, the president of the Football Association, who has been in the royal box for England’s two previous games at Wembley.

Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in that 1966 World Cup final to beat West Germany 4-2, seen above, lent his support to the players yesterday

Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in that 1966 World Cup final to beat West Germany 4-2, seen above, lent his support to the players yesterday

Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in that 1966 World Cup final to beat West Germany 4-2, seen above, lent his support to the players yesterday

Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst are seen after winning the 1966 World Cup final against Germany

Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst are seen after winning the 1966 World Cup final against Germany

Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst are seen after winning the 1966 World Cup final against Germany

Don’t say ‘it’s coming home’! Whitehall tells ministers to stop uttering the song lyric because it ‘does not go down well overseas’

It has been integral to English football culture for 25 years and has been sung across the country in recent weeks.

But ministers have been told to stop saying ‘it’s coming home’ because it apparently annoys other countries.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport officials said in a briefing note that the song lyric ‘does not go down well overseas’ and could scupper the UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup. 

The email reads: ‘As stressed before, please do encourage your ministers not to use ‘it’s coming home’ with the news media and social media.

‘I know we’re swimming against the tide, but we know this does not go down well overseas – and strategically we need to do all we can to make ourselves welcoming to the football authorities when the UK and Ireland is scoping out a bid for 2030.’ 

However, the Prime Minister said only this week after England’s semi-final win against Denmark on Wednesday, ‘Let’s bring it home.’

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The prince tweeted: ‘The whole country will be behind you on Sunday.’ During a visit to a pub in Wales yesterday, Prince Charles said he would be watching the final at home.

He told the Ponthir House Inn in Newport: ‘It would be marvellous if they won.’ Admitting the tension of the games was getting to him, the Prince of Wales added: ‘Watching the football, it’s rather too much for the nerves.’

Fans continued their desperate hunt for tickets yesterday, as some were sold by touts for an astonishing £54,000 each.

Others paid upwards of £50 each to watch the game at pubs or fan zones – most of which appeared to be booked out last night. Millions of other are planning parties at home. Southgate said: ‘We’re a special country, we are historically an incredible country and I know I couldn’t be prouder to be an Englishman… to bring happiness at this time where it’s been so difficult for this period is a very special feeling.’

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s Wimbledon men’s final will feature an Italian for the first time as Matteo Berrettini takes on the world No 1, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. 

The nation is gearing up for Sunday night’s final – with several shops shutting early so employees can watch the game.

Tesco and Co-op will shut shops early on Sunday to let staff watch the Euro 2020 final while Iceland and Lidl have said they will open later on Monday.

Several stores across the country will adjust their opening times to give workers the opportunity to watch the final clash, Sky reports.

Tesco Express will close all 1,600 stores at 7.45pm, as opposed to the usual midnight closing hours, as will 2,034 Co-op stores. Co-op 24-hour petrol stations will close between 7.45pm and 11pm for the game.

In addition, Lidl revealed it will open its stores an hour later on Monday if England are successful on Sunday night.

 

Boris Johnson has been riding the wave of football fever engulfing the nation by decking out Downing Street in the flag of St George

Boris Johnson has been riding the wave of football fever engulfing the nation by decking out Downing Street in the flag of St George

Boris Johnson has been riding the wave of football fever engulfing the nation by decking out Downing Street in the flag of St George

Economists expect a spending boom if England can go all the way in a major tournament for the first time since 1966, with Tories hoping they can benefit from a political bounce due to the euphoria

Economists expect a spending boom if England can go all the way in a major tournament for the first time since 1966, with Tories hoping they can benefit from a political bounce due to the euphoria

Economists expect a spending boom if England can go all the way in a major tournament for the first time since 1966, with Tories hoping they can benefit from a political bounce due to the euphoria

UEFA stop Frank Skinner and David Baddiel from singing Three Lions at Wembley ahead of Euro 2020 final as it’s ‘too partisan’ and ‘unfair on the Italians’ 

UEFA have reportedly stopped Frank Skinner and David Baddiel from singing Three Lions before the Euro 2020 final as it is too ‘partisan’ and ‘unfair’ on the Italians. 

The comedians were the masterminds behind the Three Lions football anthem – which was penned 25 years ago and has been chanted throughout the tournament.   

The duo had been asked to perform their hit song ahead of kick-off on Sunday but UEFA have since insisted it would be ‘unfair’ on England’s opponents Italy.

While appearing on the TV show The Last Leg, Skinner shared his frustrations with UEFA’s decision.

He even reminded viewers that Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dormua at the opening ceremony – which saw Italy kick-off the tournament against Turkey. 

Nevertheless, Skinner and Baddiel were seen singing their hit song from the stands at Wembley as they cheered on England during their semi-final clash with Denmark 

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Whether England win or lose in the final, supermarket Iceland has announced delays to opening hours, home deliveries, and meetings on Monday.

There will be no home deliveries on Sunday after 7pm, allowing the Iceland delivery drivers time to get home in time for the big match and store managers have also been encouraged to open later, allowing their teams time to finish their celebrations before heading in on Monday morning. 

All non-essential meetings at the company’s head office on Monday morning have been rescheduled and teams based in the Deeside HQ will be allowed a lie-in. 

It comes as No10 has hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final – with Keir Starmer also backing the plan.  

The PM’s spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered. The extra day off could happen later in July or August. 

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has been riding the wave of football fever engulfing the nation by decking out Downing Street in the flag of St George. 

Economists expect a spending boom if England can go all the way in a major tournament for the first time since 1966, with Tories hoping they can benefit from a political bounce due to the euphoria.

England mad bosses across the country have promised staff ‘Hangover Monday’ off whatever the result for Gareth Southgate’s team.

Growing numbers of schools including in London, Leeds, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, County Durham, West Midlands, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire, Herefordshire, and Berkshire have said children don’t have to arrive until 10.30am so they can stay up late to watch Sunday’s ‘cultural event’. 

Rossmere Primary School in Hartlepool has told parents and carers the clash against history is ‘a learning opportunity’ for the children, saying: ‘We would rather have children rested and in school ready to learn rather than absent all day or grumpy’.

The headteacher of Salcombe Primary School, Andy Pugsley, has told parents in the wealthy coastal town: School will start at 8:40am but children arriving up to 10:30 won’t be marked as late, and they won’t miss any lessons.’

No10 hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final - with Keir Starmer also backing the plan

No10 hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final - with Keir Starmer also backing the plan

No10 hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final – with Keir Starmer also backing the plan

The PM's spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered

The PM's spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered

The PM’s spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered

England mad bosses across the country have promised staff 'Hangover Monday' off whatever the result for Gareth Southgate's team

England mad bosses across the country have promised staff 'Hangover Monday' off whatever the result for Gareth Southgate's team

England mad bosses across the country have promised staff ‘Hangover Monday’ off whatever the result for Gareth Southgate’s team

The Prime Minister believes it would be 'tempting fate' to announce one in advance of the most significant football match since 1966. While any victory parade would be delayed until after July 19

The Prime Minister believes it would be 'tempting fate' to announce one in advance of the most significant football match since 1966. While any victory parade would be delayed until after July 19

The Prime Minister believes it would be ‘tempting fate’ to announce one in advance of the most significant football match since 1966. While any victory parade would be delayed until after July 19

A petition calling for a Bank Holiday on Monday should England win has passed 300,000 signatures. 

Lee Jones set up a petition on the Parliament website on Thursday, saying it would be ‘beneficial and sensible’ to give the country the day off. Sir Keir backed the campaign.

The Prime Minister believes it would be ‘tempting fate’ to announce one in advance of the most significant football match since 1966. While any victory parade would be delayed until after July 19. 

But hinting he is edging towards the move if England win, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘We don’t want to pre-empt the result and tempt fate, but we would obviously set out any future plans if necessary in due course.’ 

Many businesses are planning to give staff time off on the day – or let them come in late – after millions turned up to work hungover and tired on Thursday – or didn’t come in at all having stayed in bed. 

Look away now, Scotland and Wales! Boris makes a late entry in the competition to be England’s most patriotic street as he festoons Downing Street with St George’s flags ahead of Euros final

By Jack Newman and Jacob Thorburn For MailOnline  

Boris Johnson has made a late entry for Britain’s most patriotic road ahead of the Euro 2020 final as he decked out Downing Street in a sea of St George’s flags.

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation.

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence.  

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley.

The Downing Street decorations have not been received well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final.

Some reacted strongly on Twitter, saying, ‘So much for being PM of the UK’, and ‘Can’t imagine them doing this for Wales Northern Ireland or Scotland.’ 

Mr Johnson’s most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union.

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence.

The role sees him work to ‘ensure that all of government is acting on behalf of the entire United Kingdom’.

No10 has hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final – with Keir Starmer also backing the plan.

The PM’s spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered. The extra day off could happen later in July or August. 

Boris Johnson has made a late entry for Britain's most patriotic road ahead of the Euro 2020 final as he decked out Downing Street in a sea of St George's flags

Boris Johnson has made a late entry for Britain's most patriotic road ahead of the Euro 2020 final as he decked out Downing Street in a sea of St George's flags

Boris Johnson has made a late entry for Britain’s most patriotic road ahead of the Euro 2020 final as he decked out Downing Street in a sea of St George’s flags

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation

The prime minister draped England colours all across No10 and stood outside waving his own flag as Euro fever gripped the nation

But the decorations have been received less well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final

But the decorations have been received less well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final

But the decorations have been received less well in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with UK residents asking if he would have done the same thing if their respective countries had reached the final

Mr Johnson's most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union

Mr Johnson's most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union

Mr Johnson’s most English of displays comes two years after he proclaimed himself Minister for the Union

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence

He gave himself the role in 2019 after taking power as a response to an increase in support for Scottish independence

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence

Mr Johnson even wore an England pin on his blazer as a final touch of patriotism to add to the scores of flags hanging from windows, lampposts and gates outside his official residence

Boris Johnson holds England flag outside 10 Downing Street two days before the Three Lions take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Boris Johnson holds England flag outside 10 Downing Street two days before the Three Lions take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Boris Johnson holds England flag outside 10 Downing Street two days before the Three Lions take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley

Despite not being much of a football fan, the prime minister attended the semi final against Denmark where he wore an England shirt over a collared shirt at Wembley

No10 has hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final - with Keir Starmer also backing the plan

No10 has hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final - with Keir Starmer also backing the plan

No10 has hinted at a Bank Holiday to celebrate if England win their titanic Euros final – with Keir Starmer also backing the plan

The PM's spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered

The PM's spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered

The PM’s spokesman refused to jinx the showdown with Italy by announcing how the country would celebrate, but made clear the issue is being considered

10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, us decked out in St George's flags ahead of England's final

10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, us decked out in St George's flags ahead of England's final

10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, us decked out in St George’s flags ahead of England’s final

It comes as fans across England have been adorning their streets with bunting, flags and Three Lions-themed decorations ahead of the country’s biggest game in 55 years, against Italy on Sunday.   

The flag-tastic streets from all corners of the country, from Essex to North Tyneside to Bristol, have been shared as fans wait in nervous anticipation for England’s biggest game in half a century.

One resident in Chelmsford, Essex has succeeded in covering every available inch of his house in nine giant St George’s flags.  

Residents in Torrington Avenue, Bristol have also taken it upon themselves to show their support for their team and have lined their street with bunting as far as the eye can see.

And those living on the Kirby estate in the capital are having to dodge the hundreds of flags that are draped across the railings when they hang their washing out. 

Streets across the UK, from London to Bristol, are decked out in flags today as the country gears up for England vs Italy in the Euro 2020 final. 

It is the first time that England have reached the final of the European Championship – and the first time they have made it this far in a major tournament since the World Cup triumph in 1966.

Paul Bibby, 55, poses outside his Chelmsford, Essex semi-detached home that he has decorated with England flags

Paul Bibby, 55, poses outside his Chelmsford, Essex semi-detached home that he has decorated with England flags

Paul Bibby, 55, poses outside his Chelmsford, Essex semi-detached home that he has decorated with England flags

Paul says he always decorates his house for special occasions, but this time he has strung up 22 individual St George's Crosses, plus dozens more on bunting

Paul says he always decorates his house for special occasions, but this time he has strung up 22 individual St George's Crosses, plus dozens more on bunting

Paul says he always decorates his house for special occasions, but this time he has strung up 22 individual St George’s Crosses, plus dozens more on bunting

Flag-tastic: Hundreds of households across England have followed Paul’s lead and adorned their available space with regalia

Could this be the most patriotic street in England? Bunting adorned with England flags as far as the eye can see are flown in Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol

Could this be the most patriotic street in England? Bunting adorned with England flags as far as the eye can see are flown in Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol

Could this be the most patriotic street in England? Bunting adorned with England flags as far as the eye can see are flown in Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol

Noah Butterworth (left) and Harry Chamberlain on Wales Street, Oldham, Lancashire, where residents have renamed the road to England Street

Noah Butterworth (left) and Harry Chamberlain on Wales Street, Oldham, Lancashire, where residents have renamed the road to England Street

Noah Butterworth (left) and Harry Chamberlain on Wales Street, Oldham, Lancashire, where residents have renamed the road to England Street

A collective spirit of hope and expectation has been steadily building throughout the tournament, as England marched on through the group stage and safely navigated their knockout matches.

Hundreds of super-fans across the country are now repaying the Three Lions’ heroes by decking out their houses in patriotic regalia.  

Paul Bibby, 55, has covered every inch of his house in Chelmsford, Essex in England flags ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.  

Carer Paul has strung up 22 individual St George’s Crosses – plus dozens more on bunting – outside his semi-detached home.

Football fanatic Paul, who has also installed an inflatable mascot, predicted a 2-1 win for England on Sunday.

He said: ‘After the year we’ve had, I wanted to do something to put a smile on people’s faces.

‘I’ve been decorating my house for special occasions for the past ten years but I wanted this year to be special, so I’ve done even more than I would normally.

‘I’d say it’s been a success – you can’t even see the front of the house for all the flags.

‘I’m very patriotic and I like to stay positive, but I really do think it’s coming home this year. Italy are a good team, but so are we.

‘I’d say it’ll be a good game too – I predict a score of 2-1 to us. I think it’s our time so why not put up some decorations to celebrate?’

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, who has covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, who has covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, who has covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020

Flying the flag: Charlie's North Tyneside home has been decked out with the iconic St George's Cross

Flying the flag: Charlie's North Tyneside home has been decked out with the iconic St George's Cross

Flying the flag: Charlie’s North Tyneside home has been decked out with the iconic St George’s Cross

A woman and her dog stand on a balcony next to an England flag on the Kirby estate in Bermondsey, south London

A woman and her dog stand on a balcony next to an England flag on the Kirby estate in Bermondsey, south London

A woman and her dog stand on a balcony next to an England flag on the Kirby estate in Bermondsey, south London

England flags are strung across Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol as residents support England during the Euro 2020 tournament

England flags are strung across Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol as residents support England during the Euro 2020 tournament

England flags are strung across Torrington Avenue in the Knowle West area of Bristol as residents support England during the Euro 2020 tournament 

Paul lives with wife Linda Cummings, 58, and son Aaron Bibby, 33, and is well-known in his local area for his spectacular decorations.

Charlie Thompson, from North Shields, in North Tyneside, has also covered the outside of his home with England flags in celebration of their progress to the final of Euro 2020. 

His incredible collection is not unique, as thousands have geared up throughout the tournament to celebrate the return of the Euros following the cancellation of the games in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In one estate in Bermondsey, south London, residents have shown their patriotism in a similar way, covering the housing estate in hundreds of flags in a tradition that has been observed in the area since 2012. 

Prince Charles backs England to triumph

The Prince of Wales has backed England to beat Italy in the Euro 2020 final, telling pubgoers: ‘It would be marvellous if they won.’

Charles also revealed to regulars at the Ponthir House Inn in South Wales he would be watching the final on Sunday at home but that supporting the national team was not good for the nerves.

Earlier Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job.

Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job

Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job

Charles showed that, if England are in need of a penalty taker during their big match on Sunday, he has the skills for the job

The heir to the throne showed off his ball control when he met young entrepreneurs supported in starting their businesses by the Cardiff office of The Prince’s Trust.

When football coach Zoe Denman-Ellis, founder of Lundby Juniors an academy for young women players, offered him the chance to shoot at a goal a few metres away, Charles said: ‘I’d be extremely disappointed if I missed that’.

After scoring he joked: ‘It takes a hell of a lot of practice.’

During his visit to the pub in the village of Ponthir near Newport, the prince chatted to regular Colin Morgan, who said later: ‘He said he wouldn’t be going to Wembley, but his eldest son would be.

‘And he said ‘it’s not good for the nerves, watching England play’.’

The prince had donned an apron to pull a pint of the local beer, Butty Bach, behind the bar and Landlord Barrie Walden joked: ‘We are short staffed at the moment.’

Taking a sip, Charles declared it ‘very good,’ before raising his glass to wish staff and regulars ‘Good luck!’.

Moving on, he stopped to chat to locals, spotting one man with a pint of cider and asked: ‘How many glasses do you have to have before you feel it, or lose feeling?’

The Ponthir House Inn has been supported with expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Charles’s ‘Pub is the Hub’ initiative.

Launched in 2001, the not-for-profit organisation offers independent specialist advice to publicans to help them provide viable local services at the heart of their community.

The visit was the last event of Charles’ week-long tour of Wales with the Duchess of Cornwall, and the sporting theme continued when he joined in with a game of bowls in the car park of the village pub.

As he crouched to roll his ball towards the jack, the prince giggled and said: ‘Do I have to get right down to do this?

‘That’s a test one!’ he said as the ball rolled slowly.

‘Oh, you can chuck it up in the air! There you go, I knew I shouldn’t have had the Butty Bach.’

As Charles walked away from the bowls giggling, he shrugged and joked: ‘It’s all absolute balls to me!’

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Those living on the Kirby estate in the capital have proudly erected hundreds of flags adorned with St George’s Cross. 

Just before the tournament kicked off residents spent days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate’s walls.

The owner of a Co Durham flag manufacturer said there has ‘definitely’ been an increase in demand since England made it to the final.

Mandy Forster, owner of AA Flags in Consett, said that staff worked late last night and were in on Friday at 6am – and had ‘just caught up’ on orders by lunchtime.

Tributes were paid to Bristol City and England fan, Paul 'Scooter' Surridge (pictured on flag above) who passed before Euro 2020

Tributes were paid to Bristol City and England fan, Paul 'Scooter' Surridge (pictured on flag above) who passed before Euro 2020

Tributes were paid to Bristol City and England fan, Paul ‘Scooter’ Surridge (pictured on flag above) who passed before Euro 2020

The Kirby housing estate in Bermondsey, south London has hung flags in celebration of England at major footballing tournaments since 2012

The Kirby housing estate in Bermondsey, south London has hung flags in celebration of England at major footballing tournaments since 2012

The Kirby housing estate in Bermondsey, south London has hung flags in celebration of England at major footballing tournaments since 2012

Hundreds of England flags have been put up across the street in Torrington Avenue, Bristol

Hundreds of England flags have been put up across the street in Torrington Avenue, Bristol

Is this England’s most patriotic street? Hundreds of flags have been put up across Torrington Avenue, Bristol

Whilst another flagmaker, Jo Ashburner – who runs Red Dragon Flagmakers, said she has seen an uptick in orders for custom flags and hand-stitched versions for families as mementos for the tournament.

Ms Forster, who set up the family-run business in 1992, ‘welcomed’ the extra work as it is linked closely with the hospitality industry and was closed for six months last year when its orders dried up during lockdown.

Ms Forster said: ‘We are making plain ones, some with people’s postcode on them, pub names. We have definitely made more than usual.

‘Yesterday alone we made about 180 St George flags as opposed to three or four a day, it was ridiculous and we could not make them fast enough.

‘We also do bunting and a lot of those have sold.’

She added: ‘With this particular Euro competition, even before they got through to the final, we have sold more flags that we usually would.

‘I think it is down to everybody needing something to celebrate at the minute.

‘The outside of pubs need cheering up and they need to invite people in and to make the place look happy and celebratory.

‘People in general just want to have a good time and celebrate.’

She said that eight of its 22 staff were brought back from furlough in recent months in time for the Euro 2020 rush.

Residents spent several days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate's walls

Residents spent several days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate's walls

Residents spent several days putting up bunting and laying the flags over their balconies, on street lamps and sticking them to the estate’s walls

Ms Ashburner said she too has seen a spike in sales during the competition.

She said: ‘We are a Wales-based flag making company, making everything from scratch in our Swansea workshop.

‘During the past few weeks have been stretched to capacity making flags for Wales, England and Italy in particular – as there’s a big Italian contingent in Wales.’

The founder added: ‘Historically fans ask for economy flags, a quick fix for a short-lived moment but in a surprising turn this year we’ve been asked for more of the custom quality printed flags.

‘We’ve even seen an upsurge in calls for the more expensive fully stitched traditional quality flags in both customised and generic format.’

Flags at online giant Amazon fall under its garden and outdoor products category.

In the past 24 hours, since England won a place in the final, sales of a £7.99 St George’s flag have soared.

The 2.5ft x 1.6ft flag, which is billed as ‘perfect for English celebrations’, is up to ninth in Amazon’s ‘movers and shakers’ rankings for items in its garden and outdoors products.

Amazon could not give details as to how many flags had been sold.

It is the ninth biggest gainer in sales when 24 hours ago it was the 568th.  

Link hienalouca.com

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