Euro 2020: Queen and Boris Johnson wish England well as final looms

By Doug Faulkner & Becky Morton
BBC News

  • Published
Fans gathering at Wembley StadiumImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Fans have already started gathering outside Wembley for Sunday evening's final

The Queen and Boris Johnson have led messages of support to the England team ahead of the Euro 2020 final.

The monarch recalled presenting the World Cup trophy to Bobby Moore in 1966 as she praised the current team's "spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves".

And in a letter to the squad, the prime minister said they had "lifted the spirits of the whole country".

The Duke of Cambridge said he "can't really believe this is happening".

Prince William, who is president of the English Football Association (FA), urged the squad to "bring it home" and said the team had already displayed "the very best of England".

Gareth Southgate's team play Italy at Wembley on Sunday at 20:00 BST.

FA chief executive, Mark Bullingham, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the mood in the England camp was "very calm".

He said Southgate had built a really strong environment and created a "band of brothers feeling" in the team, which had a "fantastic togetherness" and "resilience".

"We're in a good place. It will be a tough game but we're going to give it a good go," he added.

Asked what he would say to England fans considering booing the Italian national anthem before the match, he said: "We've been really clear we do not support that. We want them to really get behind the team… but get behind the team in the right way."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The Queen presents Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet Trophy for winning the World Cup in 1966

The Queen's message hailed the "spirit, commitment and pride" of the England players.

She wrote: "Fifty-five years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament.

"I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships, and send my good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves."

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Joanne and Alfonso live in Bedford, which is called England's "Little Italy" for its large Italian population

In his letter, Mr Johnson told the team they had "already made history" by taking England into the final of a major international competition for the first time in 55 years.

"You have forged a band of brothers whose energy and tenacity and teamwork - and sheer flair - seem to shine in everything you do," he said.

"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.

"On behalf of the entire nation, good luck, have a great game - and bring it home!"

How can I follow the Euro 2020 final?

Image source, EPA

You can watch England v Italy live on BBC One. The match kicks-off at 20:00 BST tonight, but the TV coverage starts at 18:20.

You can also stream the match via BBC iPlayer or the BBC Sport live page.

For radio listeners, build up to the match will begin on BBC Radio 5 Live from 18:00, with live commentary from 20:00.

Media caption,

The pride of Three Lions' hometowns

William added: "What a team performance it's been. Every member of the squad has played their part, and all the back room team as well have been truly essential.

"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."

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the team as "role models" as he urged them to "bring it home".

"On and off the field, you've shown the best of England during this tournament," he said.

"You've been as fearless as the three lions on our crest. You've lit up this tournament. And in spite of those who tried to undermine you, you've used your platform to stand up for our shared values as a country."

Image source, Reuters
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No 10 Downing Street was decked out in St George's flags ahead of the game

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday evening, Southgate said: "It has been fantastic to have the letter from the Queen and the prime minister to all of the team - and the recognition the players have gone about this in the right way.

"But we're in a final and we're here to win. Now we want to go and bring the trophy home."

Earlier on Saturday, supporters lined the road as they cheered the team bus off from the England training complex near Burton upon Trent. The team stayed in Watford, closer to Wembley stadium, on Saturday night.

Captain Harry Kane said: "To see the fans on the street and see the reception we have had, it has just shown us how big of an occasion it is.

"We know how much it means to the English fans so we are proud to be representing them and hopefully we can do them proud tomorrow night."

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The Queen is not the only person wishing the England team well, with Kane revealing that actor Tom Cruise called the squad.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We actually had Tom Cruise get in touch yesterday evening. You get everyone who loves football."

Kane added: "We were fortunate enough to have a watch of one of his films, so I think he was over here in the UK and he just dialled in and Facetimed us just to wish us the best as a group. So that was nice of him.

"I'm not sure if he will be there at the final or not, but football is such a big part of the world and it's nice to have that support."

A good luck message from David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds - who are behind the football anthem Three Lions (Football's Coming Home) - has also been projected onto the white cliffs of Dover ahead of the match.

Image source, PA Media

England's route to the final

Image source, Reuters

13 June, group stage: England beat Croatia 1-0, with Sterling scoring the only goal of the game

18 June, group stage: England and Scotland draw 0-0 at Wembley

22 June, group stage: England beat Czech Republic 1-0 to top Group D, with Sterling scoring again

29 June, round of 16: England beat Germany 2-0 thanks to goals from Kane and Sterling

3 July, quarter-final: Kane, Maguire and Henderson score as England beat Ukraine 4-0

7 July, semi-final: England beat Denmark 2-1 after extra time, with Kane scoring the winner

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A poem for England: BBC presenters' message for the Three Lions ahead the Euro 2020 final