C’mon ENGLAND! Fans are in high spirits as they hit the pubs in Sydney to cheer on our Lionesses as they take on Spain in World Cup Final today
High-spirited England fans have descended on Sydney as they as they prepare to watch the Lionesses make history taking on Spain in the Women’s World Cup final.
An army of more than 6,000 are expected to roar on the European champions in Sydney’s Stadium Australia today.
While back home, a bumper crowd of more than 15 million is predicted to watch the historic final on BBC or ITV, packing out fan zones and pubs – with chain Greene King even offering a free drink for fans turning up to boozers wearing either England kit, colours or facepaint.
The Lionesses will look to claim the title for the first time, as well as becoming the first England team since 1966 to win a senior final on the world stage, in a match Lionesses captain Millie Bright described as the ‘game of their lives’.
It’s a tournament England has had to battle through, first blighted by injury with some of its biggest stars unable to make the championship, before then losing striking ace Lauren James after she was sent off and banned for the Lionesses’ quarter and semi-final matches.
Despite the setbacks though, supporters are convinced Sarina Wiegman’s squad can pull off an historic win, with fans chanting ‘it’s coming home, it’s coming – football’s coming home’ on their way to watch the clash in Sydney.
‘It’s coming home!’: These England fans outside Sydney’s famed Opera House were confident the Lionesses could beat Spain in the Women’s World Cup final today
An army of 6,000 England fans are expected to watch the Lionesses take on Spain in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday in Sydney (pictured are fans on their way to the stadium)
England fans were in high spirits on this boat in Sydney, Australia
Jubilant supporters in Sydney are packing out pubs in Sydney ahead of the clash
High-spirited punters have been cheering in the run up to the event, with huge crowds of England fans pictured celebrating in the shadow of Sydney famous Opera House.
READ MORE: Lives and loves of the Lionesses: The quirky secrets of the England women’s team who could end 57 years of hurt and bring home the World Cup
Others have been seen dancing and singing on boats as they make their way to fan zones across the Australian city, with many sinking pints along the way.
‘I’m absolutely buzzing, I can’t wait. This is just going to be the best day ever,’ said one fan from outside the Opera House.
Speaking to Sky News, another supporter predicted England would finally bag their first victory in a World Cup final since that fateful 1966 clash against Germany.
‘It’s coming home without a shadow of a doubt,’ she told Sky. ‘We’ve done the hard part now. I think we’ll win tonight, no bother at all.’
She added the stunning success of the Lionesses through the championship was ‘finally putting women’s football where it always belongs – right up there’.
England captain Millie Bright, 29, preparing for the biggest game of her life, said yesterday playing in the final was a dream come true for the players.
The party atmosphere was in full swing on this boat in Sydney harbour as fans celebrated
Delighted fans have been cheering ‘it’s coming home’ from pubs in Sydney, Australia
Speaking ahead of the match, Chelsea star Millie added: ‘Everyone knows how big this is.
‘As a group we’d like to say thank you, not only to the fans back home but the fans that are here as well. Stick with us one more game.’
A huge 30 million pints are expected to be downed over the next 24 hours as England fans celebrate the finals today.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will even be in a pub in his constituency of Richmond, Yorkshire, to cheer on the Lionesses with fellow punters – although won’t be drinking booze.
In a dramatic rallying cry ahead of today’s clash against Spain in Sydney, King Charles declared: ‘Good luck today Lionesses, and may you roar to victory!’ His stirring message on social media was signed Charles R.
With the country gripped with excitement, Football Association president Prince William apologised for not travelling to Australia.
Both he and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have come under fire for opting to stay at home, while Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter Infanta Sofia have jetted out to Sydney to cheer on the team.
Appearing in a video alongside his eight-year-old daughter Charlotte, Prince William said he was sorry he could not watch today’s match ‘in person’, but wanted to send ‘huge good luck’ to the Lionesses. Clutching an apparently well-used football in her lap, an excited Princess Charlotte added: ‘Good luck, Lionesses!’
King Charles last night urged the Lionesses to ‘roar to victory’ as the England women’s football team stood on the brink of history
King Charles said ‘Good luck today Lionesses, and may you roar to victory!’
Prince William has apologised for not attending the Women’s World Cup final to cheer on the Lionesses in video message with Charlotte
In an impassioned letter to ‘Sarina and all our Lionesses’ overnight, Mr Sunak heaped praise on the team for securing ‘a lasting legacy’ for women’s sport – and said he recognised the huge challenges some of them faced on their way to the top.
‘For many of you, the honour of putting on that England shirt was earned against the odds,’ Mr Sunak wrote. ‘It should never have been like that. At times, some of you were even stopped from playing. But you faced down outdated attitudes and fashioned your own opportunities to play.’
Mr Sunak, who will watch the match in a pub in his North Yorkshire constituency, said the Lionesses had made his daughters Krishna, 12, and Anoushka, ten, connect with the game.
‘For my daughters, and for every girl in this country, you have made football something for them; you have made them feel they belong on the pitch. So – in a way – you’ve already brought football home.’
Mr Sunak, who will watch the match in a pub in his North Yorkshire constituency, said the Lionesses had made his daughters Krishna, 12, and Anoushka, ten, connect with the game
England’s Lionesses booked their place in the World Cup final against Spain with a famous victory over Australia on Wednesday
England celebrates after Alessia Russo scores the team’s third goal in the World Cup semi-final
England Lionesses train on the pitch ahead of their final match on Sunday
The Lionesses reached the final at the 83,500-seat Stadium Australia with a resounding 3-1 victory against Australia in Wednesday’s semi-final. Up to 14 million are expected to tune into the BBC One or ITV coverage of today’s match, which kicks off at 11am.
READ MORE: Prince William apologises for not attending World Cup final to cheer on the Lionesses in video message with Charlotte following row over his decision not to fly out for match – as Spain’s Queen Letizia and her daughter touch down in Sydney
It is thought the final will boost the UK economy by £185 million. Demand has jumped at supermarkets, with Waitrose stocking more breakfast items and English sparkling wine for the game, and Aldi expecting sales of crisps, burgers and prosecco to be significantly higher than usual.
Online fashion giant Boohoo revealed that searches for ‘Lionesses kit’ exploded by 3,981 per cent in the hours following the semi-final victory.
The King’s motivational message is a break with centuries of tradition.
When Queen Elizabeth wished the England men’s team good luck for the final of the Euro championships in 2021, she sent an official letter addressed to the team’s manager Gareth Southgate.
In a video posted online last night, Southgate told the Lionesses: ‘You are doing a brilliant job. There is of course no advice because you have done more than us already and you know what is needed to win.’
Charles III’s good-luck message to the women’s team was posted online at 9.30pm to coincide with dawn in Australia and appeared alongside a majestic picture of a lioness and the Royal crest. A Buckingham Palace source said: ‘Both Their Majesties will be following events with the greatest interest.’ Prince William and his family are expected to watch the final at Anmer Hall.
Lioness Rachel Daly celebrates after the end of the team’s semi-final match this week
Ella Toone celebrates after scoring England’s opening goal in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday
England men’s captain Harry Kane also urged the Lionesses to ‘bring home the trophy’.
‘It’s been an amazing journey so far and you should be really proud of yourselves,’ he wrote on Instagram. ‘We’re all behind you, we’re all supporting you and we know you can do it. So go and get that World Cup win and bring that trophy home.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also sent a letter cheering on the Lionesses and recalled the impact that seeing them in action last year had on his daughter: ‘Last summer, when I took my daughter to watch your Euros semi-final game, she was immediately absorbed. Seeing how much you have inspired her has filled me with pride.’
In their final press conference before the match, Wiegman and England captain Millie Bright urged England to play the game of their lives. ‘We have felt the support, we have felt the support here, but also from the other side of the world in the UK,’ Wiegman said. ‘That’s something that you dream of.’
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