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 the 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.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England ‘played like heroes’, adding: ‘They have done the nation proud and deserve great credit.’
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.
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.’
Two schoolboys were hurried along in tears and held their father’s hands.
He said: ‘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?’
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.’
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
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 and looking dejected, right
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
Devastated Jordan Pickford sits on the ground as the Italian side celebrate in front of him after Donnarumma saved Saka’s shot
The Italian player clamber onto each other after Saka’s penalty was saved by Donnarumma
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
Roberto Mancini, Head Coach of Italy reacts in front of Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final
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’.
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Boris Johnson with wife Carrie waves from the stands
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
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
A young England fan with his face painted with the cross of St George sits on a man’s shoulders ahead of the match
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.