‘It’s wonderful, it’s crazy’: Trafalgar Square erupts as England gives fans a reason to party

NOTJust four minutes into the quarter-final match between England and Ukraine, the Trafalgar Square crowd is out of their seats as Harry Kane had the ball in the net 1,000 miles from Stadio Olimpico from Rome.

An announcement sounds from huge loudspeakers in the London fan zone reminding fans that they are at a “socially distanced event” and should return to their tables of six. Those calls would prove to be somewhat optimistic, as a flurry of second-half goals on a sunny Saturday night dragged crowds into the kind of party atmosphere rarely seen in the past year and a half of the coronavirus pandemic. .

As Harry Maguire heads to another house just after the second half has started, fans are out of their seats and hug each other, spilling drinks on the floor as they kiss in celebration.

Kane is following closely with England’s third goal and the cheering crowd can’t stop now as they rush out of their chairs to rejoice under one of the giant screens.

The sound of the images broadcast from Rome is suddenly cut off and ecstatic fans are warned that the stream will be cut entirely if they do not return to their tables.

Any lingering nervous excitement was long gone and was replaced by pure joy as substitute Jordan Henderson brought the score to 4-0.

Sean Duffy, who traveled from northwest London to watch the game with his 12-year-old son, Liam, describes the atmosphere as “bonkers”.

“My son is just wearing makeup because we are in Trafalgar Square watching this,” he said. The independent. “I don’t know when we’re going to have this again.”

Sean Duffy, 49, with son Liam Duffy, 12, from North West London

(The independent)

“I’m almost 50, so I’ve seen England crash and burn so many times,” he adds. “Liam’s expectations are based on the 2018 World Cup – but I remember Italy 90 and Euro 96. I love that Liam doesn’t feel that.

“It’s wonderful, it’s crazy. I know how special it is to be sitting in Trafalgar Square with a big football game going on. “

Liam, who hopes to play for Real Madrid or Celtic himself someday, has told his father he “wants to be there when the beer hits.”

“We’re going to win,” he said bluntly when asked how, ahead of the game, how he thought England were going to behave. His confidence, it proves, was not out of place.

Frazer Norman, 24, and his brother Kenny Norman, 27, from Bermondsey, south-east London

(The independent)

“They seem to take it a bit more like business,” says Frazer Norman, who traveled by tube from Bermondsey in south-east London with his older brother Kenny.

“The way it went, the team gained confidence… despite the fact that there is so much pressure that comes with being an international player for England.”

The 24-year-old said he would return “to the North Line and then the Jubilee Line in a very bad mood and go straight to bed” if England lost, but after Kane put the England in the lead within 240 seconds, insignificant doubts begin to set in. disappear.

Ian Gray, 51, and Kat Gray, 45

(The independent)

Marc Ghossein, another fan zone supporter, said: “It’s an incredible feeling. We have been waiting for it for 25 years. We’re almost in the semi-finals, it’s coming home. England will win this year. “

Her friend Ellie Mhanna added: “England will definitely win the Euro this year. They have been consistent and they deserve it. “

“I think maybe it’s time for them to take him home,” said Ian Gray, 51, who watches the game with his wife Kat.

“It’s great to be here, I’ve never done anything like this before. It is quite astonishing.

“I think they’ve done so well to get this far in the tournament, I think they deserve to win – the way they played is fantastic.”

Kat, 45, from Germany, had divided loyalties when they faced the Three Lions and lost on Tuesday

“It was a bit difficult but I was so happy for England,” she said. “I think this could be England’s year.

Amis Bex Horner, 23, and Michelle Koops, 23, from Islington, north London

(The independent)

“I think they have a good chance of qualifying for the final, but there is still a long way to go and every game has to be taken seriously. I think everyone who gets to this point has an equal chance to go their way. “

Friends Charlotte Adejayan, 55, and Vicky Macleod, 52, from Wandsworth, southwest London

(The independent)

And what about England winning their semi-final match, and maybe even the whole tournament?

“The fact that we beat Germany the other day, we put old injuries to bed,” said Charlotte Adejayan, 55, of Wandsworth, south London. “But I think the media kept it pretty low with the ‘homecoming’. Let’s just do the matches and then if we get to the final … but for now let’s not. “

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