Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title and ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion with a straight-sets victory over world number one Novak Djokovic.
The Scot, 26, converted his fourth championship point in a dramatic final game to win 6-4 7-5 6-4 and claim his second major title.
In an atmosphere reminiscent of his Olympic final win last summer, Murray was willed on by the majority of the 15,000 spectators on Centre Court, thousands watching on the nearby big screen and millions more around the country.
The final game was a battle in itself, with Murray seeing three match points slip by from 40-0 and fending off three Djokovic break points with some fearless hitting, before the Serb netted a backhand to end the contest.
After a gruelling three hours 10 minutes in searing temperatures, Murray had finally followed in the footsteps of Fred Perry's 1936 win at the All England Club.
Perry used to leap over the net in celebration, but Britain's new champion roared in delight before sinking to his knees on the turf.
Murray, who collected a first prize of £1.6m, then headed into the stands to celebrate with his family and support team, moments later parading the trophy around Centre Court.
He could barely believe he had won, saying: "It feels slightly different to last year. Last year was one of the toughest moments of my career, so to manage to win the tournament today...
"It was an unbelievably tough match, so many long games."
And he later gathered his thoughts in a BBC TV interview, telling Sue Barker: "It was tough speaking after the match. There are a lot of people who have worked with me over the last 10 or 15 years or so.
"I didn't know what to do with myself. The noise levels during the whole match were just incredible."
The Dunblane native becomes Scotland's first Wimbledon singles champion since Harold Mahony in 1896, and Britain's first since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Murray had been on top from the outset against an unusually erratic Djokovic, finally converting his seventh break point after three dramatic games that took 20 minutes.
The home supporters were brought down to earth immediately when Djokovic recovered the break to love, but the Serb was leaking errors and his 13th in just seven games saw Murray move clear again at 4-3.
A tense game followed after Murray, serving into the sun, opened with two double faults, but he fought his way out of three break points and served out the set to love.
An hour gone, and all was going to plan for the British number one, but Djokovic began to find his range in the early stages of the second set.
The top seed got the better of two rallies approaching 30 strokes as he broke on his way to a 4-1 lead, and looked on course to level at 15-30 in the following game, but Murray would not give it up.
Having struggled to defend his own second serve, Murray now turned the tables and put the pressure on Djokovic, and the Serb succumbed with a double fault to give up his advantage in game seven.
Murray was the man in command once again and when he cracked a 128mph ace and a nerveless smash to save two break points for 4-4, the crowd sensed a real opportunity developing.
Djokovic was vulnerable and he showed it with a tirade at the umpire over a line call when serving at 5-5, but he had run out of Hawk-Eye challenges and moments later netted a forehand to give Murray a priceless opportunity.
Once again, Murray found his best serving form when he needed it most, closing out the set to love with an ace to bring the Centre Court crowd to its feet.
The sense of hope around the stadium became something closer to disbelief when Murray raced in to pick up a drop shot and hammer a forehand on his way to a break at the start of the third, and he threatened to run away with it with seven out of eight games.
Back Djokovic came, throwing in drop shots to get the Briton on the run and reeling off four straight games on his way to a 4-2 lead, but Murray was not to be denied.
He wrestled back the initiative to level at 4-4 and surged on, hammering away at the Djokovic forehand and drawing yet another error to move 5-4 clear.
All that was left was to serve for the title, and it was never likely to be straightforward, but after 12 tortuous minutes Murray sent over a forehand that Djokovic could only put in the net.
"I have played in a lot of Slam finals, all against Roger or Novak," said Murray. "Roger is probably the greatest player ever, Novak is one of the mentally strongest ever. I never had experience on my side.
"To beat him was so tough; it was such a tough match."