England fans across the country are already piling into pubs and bars as the nation awaits tonight’s blockbuster Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark at Wembley.
The nation is right behind the Three Lions, with 30 million expected to tune in on TV, as well as 60,000 at the stadium. Top tier tickets for the clash are being re-sold for up to £6,500 each on ‘touting’ websites, MailOnline has found.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, will be among those inside the ground to watch the match, which will be the first time the men’s team has made it to the semi-final of a European Championship since an ill-fated penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany at Euro 96.
Fans up and down the country shared photos of themselves wearing England shirts and waistcoats as they started work this morning, while supporters lined up outside Box Park in Wembley and flocked to bars nine hours before kick-off.
Around 6.8 million pints are expected to be poured, with the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) saying that fans will buy 50,000 pints a minute over the course of the match.
One fan even shared a photo of his partner in labour as he drove them to hospital, with the caption: ‘Mrs is currently in labour – reckon I’ll be out in time for tonight?’
And former England captain Wayne Rooney showed he was ready for the clash, waking up his children by blaring Three Lions through his house this morning.
Expectations are high, with England favourites to reach Sunday’s final at Wembley. However, the Danes are expected to provide a stern test, with the team riding a wave of emotion after the heart-wrenching collapse of Christian Eriksen in their first match.
And one confident Danish paper made reference to the Vikings this morning, writing: ‘We plundered you before, we’ll do it again.’
Danish ambassador Lars Thuesen was also optimistic and said today: ‘We have a lot of songs and we have prepared all of them, we know them by heart because our flag is red and white. So we are red and white, we are Danish dynamite.
‘I don’t think we are the underdogs. We have a pretty good chance there and we also have a pretty good record.’
Mr Thuesen said 8,000 Danish people living in the UK will be among the Wembley crowd on Wednesday, with numbers limited due to travel restrictions.
A group of England fans pouring pitchers of beer at Boxpark Wembley this morning ahead of the semi-final match at 8pm
Spirits were high and drinks were flowing several hours before the match kicked off as fans piled into bars to soak up the atmosphere
England fans at tables in Boxpark Wembley several hours before the match against Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-finals kicks off
England fans at tables in Boxpark Wembley this morning, with the nation eagerly awaiting the 8pm kick off of the semi-final
In scenes mirrored across the nation, England fans queue to enter Box Park near Wembley Stadium as the country looks forward to the Euro 2021 semi-final against Denmark this evening
Alan Putman, in costume and a horse drawn carriage, on the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south London, where residents are showing their support for England ahead of their game against Denmark
The glamorous WAGs of England’s Euro stars travelled to Wembley in style as they boarded a party bus ahead of the semi-final match today
Meanwhile fellow WAG Fern Hawkins, who is engaged to Harry Maguire, also posted videos from inside the bus, where the women could be seen blasting football anthem Three Lions
Alexander Clay who runs the MRCA club in Liverpool preparing the club ahead of tonights England Match against Denmark
He also said the tournament had been a ‘huge emotional rollercoaster’ for Danes, after star midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during the defeat to Finland in their opening match.
He told Sky News: ‘It started out we were crying, we were praying, then a few minutes later, when we realised he was going to recover, we were crying (tears) of joy. There are higher things at stake than football.
‘He’s still part of the team, part of the WhatsApp group, he wanted us to participate in the tournament as though nothing has happened.’
Mr Thuesen added: ‘I think everybody in England, in the UK, understands that here I can’t be a diplomat. I’m a huge fan of my own country and I hope that we’ll win tonight.’
Danish FA flouts UK’s strict Covid rules by allowing FORTY ‘dedicated fans’ to travel for tonight’s Euros semi-final
The Danish Football Association has ignored the UK’s strict Covid rules by allowing 40 of its fans to travel for tonight’s match against England on the plane carrying its official delegation.
The DFA announced that the fans had been selected for having the greatest number of loyalty points and will travel on a plane with the partners of the footballers and other officials.
They are all members of the official Denmark football team supporters’ group and were selected for having the highest number of loyalty points from attending matches at home and abroad.
Under current rules, Denmark is on the amber list meaning anyone travelling to the UK from the country must quarantine for ten days. This has resulted in no fans officially coming to the England for the match.
But they are using a loophole that allows VIPs from a national football federation to travel to Wembley from Copenhagen without needing to quarantine.
They will land in London this afternoon after taking a negative Covid test and remain in a bubble during their 24 hour stay, the DFA says.
England fans were in buoyant mood this morning as they prepared to roar on the Three Lions in their Euro 2020 semi-final tonight.
Supporters had started to gather in central London to cheer on Gareth Southgate’s team against a tough Denmark side at Wembley. Wearing the 1966 red England World Cup winning shirt, Andy Hallett and friend Jeff Courtney were sipping coffee in a cafe in Soho.
Civil servant Andy, 34, from Bow in East London, said: ‘I’ve got the day off because it’s my birthday today and I’m hoping England are going to give me a great birthday present tonight.
‘We’ve been going great and have really grown into the tournament and now confidence is high. It’s going to be a tough game, Denmark are a very resilient side and everyone has a soft spot for them at the moment because of what happened to Christian Eriksen.
‘But I’m hoping for a 2-0 win to England this evening. I think it’s going to be a good, clean game. Last night’s game between Italy and Spain had too much diving and play acting but I don’t think we’ll see that tonight as both teams are pretty respectful.’
Jeff, 35, added: ‘I think it’s going to be close but I’m hoping England just about edge it.’
Courier Danny Arnold, 24, left his home in Stockport, Lancashire at 4am this morning to deliver pizza supplies to Rudy’s Neapolitan restaurant in Soho.
Sporting a burgundy England shirt, the Manchester United fan said: ‘I wanted to get up and do the early delivery this morning so I can get back home to watch the match.
‘It’s ironic that I’m delivering to an Italian restaurant as I really hope it’s Italy who England play next!
‘We’ve been very good in their last couple of games but we’ve also had that little bit of luck that you need to go far in tournaments.
‘I’ve been pleased with the United lads as well, particularly Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire, whose built up a really solid partnership with John Stones so far. Denmark will be no pushover but I just hope we can get to our first final since 1966.’
University friends Megan Beattie and Annie Robinson said they were both looking forward to the big game tonight.
Professional dancer Megan, 22, joked: ‘It’s coming home! It has to be – England fans have waited so long for a taste of success. I like the Denmark team but Mason Mount is my favourite player and I hope that he and the rest of the England team step up again tonight. They’ve all been brilliant so far.’
Resident Chris Dowse and his dog Tinkerbell on the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south London, where residents are showing their support for England
A horse drawn carriage on the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south London, where residents are showing their support for England
England fans queue to enter Box Park near Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euro 2020 semi final between England and Denmark
Merchandise for sale outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final match between England and Denmark
Fan Richard Edwards told MailOnline: ‘I will be watching the game at my mates garden bar in Harrogate, The Drunken Lobster!’
England fans, Daisy, Liddie, Carla and Martha, gather bright and early on Olympic Way, hours before the match against Denmark kicks off
England fans on Wembley Way this morning ahead of the semi-final. England are attempting to reach their first final since 1966
England fans queue to enter Box Park near Wembley Stadium. Expectations are high as fans pile into bars across the country
Fans buying merchandise ahead of semi final match between England and Denmark this evening – with the nation eagerly awaiting kick-off
England fan Chris with his sons Casper and Luca gather at Wembley Stadium ahead of the Euro 2020 semi final between England and Denmark
The nation is eagerly awaiting tonight’s match, with an England win sending the team to its first major final since the World Cup in 1966
Student occupational therapist Annie, 21, said: ‘I think the team has done the country so proud and they’ve given us a much-needed lift after all we’ve been through with Covid and lockdowns. It’s like there’s a little bit of normality back in people’s lives and I’m really enjoying it.
‘But just imagine how amazing it would be if England made it to the final and actually went on to win – there’d be a massive party!’
Meanwhile, Italy fan Matteo Orletti, 28, hoped the Danes go on to meet his countrymen in the final. Matteo, who works at Caffè Nero in Soho, went to last night’s match between Italy and Spain and said: ‘It was incredible, an unbelievable atmosphere at Wembley and what a result!
‘I have to say that I want Denmark to play Italy in the final because I’m an Inter Milan fan and Christian Eriksen is one of our players. Denmark would be doing it for him. But I think England is going to win tonight and that won’t be a bad thing seeing as I’ve been living in London for the last five years.
‘Who will win the championship? Who knows! Italy have a chance and I’m going to try and see them in the final this weekend.’
Westminster Council are taking no chances with either joyous or dejected England fans tonight and have boarded up the famous Eros Fountain in Piccadilly Circus.
Hundreds of delirious supporters clambered on top of the London landmark following the wins against Germany and Ukraine.
Fans, some of whom had come down on the tube from Wembley, chanted ‘It’s Coming Home’ from the steps and others frolicked in the fountain beneath the statue until they were moved on by police.
The statue of Eros in Piccadilly, central London boarded up ahead of the Euro 2020 semi final between England and Denmark
Restaurants and shops are being boarded up ahead of the arrival of the England fans this evening, as well as other landmarks in Leicester Square
The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in piccadilly Circus and the Shakespeare statue in Leicester Square are fenced off
Barriers and fencing is being put up after hundreds of delirious supporters clambered on top of the the famous Eros Fountain following the wins against Germany and Ukraine
Bars in nearby Leicester Square and Soho were this morning preparing to welcome thousands of thirsty England fans ahead of the 8pm game – although due to Covid regulations most places required supporters to book in advance.
Jack Innes, 27, who works at The Crown and Two Chairmen pub on Dean Street said: ‘We’re going to be at capacity for this game so there’ll be about 100-people.
‘It’s what we need really after being closed so long due to the Covid lockdown.
‘I’m hoping an England victory will keep our patrons in good spirits!’
Elsewhere in London, stewards were already in place at the fan zone in Trafalgar Square from 9.30am this morning despite it not opening until 5pm this evening.
One said: ‘We are letting in 900 supporters to watch the match on the big screens. It’s slightly more than the 750 who were allowed in to watch the group matches.
‘It’s free to come in but you have to enter a ballot to get a ticket. Hopefully it’s going to be a great atmosphere tonight.’
The crowd at Wembley will be the largest since coronavirus restrictions were introduced last spring, and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he cannot guarantee there will not be an outbreak of Covid-19 cases linked to football fans watching the game.
He told LBC radio: ‘I think we can manage this risk but to say there is no risk, if you have thousands of people in one place… there’s always risk in life.
‘I think we’re managing the risk. I’m confident there won’t be a big outbreak but we can’t guarantee that now.’
Those watching from outside venues may need to be prepared for all weathers, with sunshine and showers forecast for parts of England throughout the day, although London is expected to remain dry during the match.
Looking forward to the game, one fan wrote this morning: ‘Never been so excited/nervous for a football match but I’m ready with my shirt on ready to watch c’mon England.’
People outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 semi final match between England and Denmark
Pubs and bars all over the country have been decked out with England flags as the nation prepares for tonight’s semi-final
Present band members of Atomic Kitten, Natasha Hamilton (left) and Liz McClarnon with former member Jenny Frost this morning
Another said: ‘Right I can’t wait any longer! Getting my first beer, so excited for tonight’s match. 3 lions, vindaloo & the great escape are going to be banged out for the next few hours.’
While a third said: ‘I am so, so excited and I really hope we win tonight. I know that sounds very basic but I’m really enjoying England doing well and want to watch the final in a pub with my best friends.’
Even the Coldstream Guards got into the action, after Prince Charles invited them to blare out renditions of Three Lions and Sweet Caroline from the gardens of Clarence House yesterday.
More than 30 million fans in living rooms, pubs and fan zones across the country will unite to cheer every England attack.
In the stadium, Prince William will be leading the cheers, though he will be without his family tonight because Kate is self-isolating at home after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid.
George is not expected at the ground, given the late start time on what is a school night. In the red corner, the Danish royal family have been given special permission to skip UK quarantine measures so they can watch the game at Wembley.
Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, his wife Princess Mary, and their 15-year-old son Prince Christian have been given exemptions to travel to London for the clash.
Furious Denmark fans threatened to ‘come by sea like the Vikings’ after they were banned from travelling under the country’s Covid rules. Only about 6,000 Danes living in England will be at Wembley.
Boris Johnson said: ‘Gareth Southgate and the England squad have done the nation proud in the Euros, and tonight we will all be wishing them the best of luck in getting to the final. Bring it home.’
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) believes fans will buy 50,000 pints a minute over the course of the match.
Ten million pints could be poured by the end of the day, with fans expected to pack out pubs hours ahead of kick-off.
Builders arranged the tiles on a new build house to read ‘It’s coming home’ ahead of the Three Lions crunch Euro 2020 semi-final tonight
The Band of the Coldstream Guards playing Three Lions and Sweet Caroline in the gardens of Clarence House
BBPA’s chief executive Emma McClarkin said today: ‘With England fans’ support, we hope that pubs will sell 6.8 million pints during the semi-final match.
‘If the team goes on to win, a final at Wembley awaits, which would be a huge boost to our pubs and the nation.’
‘After a long wait, the pubs we love should be restriction-free from July 19. Only when the restrictions are removed can our pubs recover, but to do so they need Government investment to build back better.’
Builders arranged the tiles on a new build house to read ‘It’s coming home’ ahead of the Three Lions crunch Euro 2020 semi-final tonight.
The patriotic labourer’s work raised the roof in Pitstone, Buckinghamshire and ocals were chuffed with the rallying cry as England prepare to face Denmark.
Demand has soared for tickets ahead of the crunch match at Wembley today – with a place in Sunday’s final at stake.
Only 60,000 people will be allowed inside the stadium, which will be at 75 per cent capacity due to Covid.
And with the remaining tickets being bought up by the FA’s official supporters group last night, it has sparked a mad rush for tickets on resale websites.
One hospitality ticket on LiveFootballTickets.com is being listed at a staggering £6,499.
But even standard tickets are selling for more than £1,000 – more than double their general sale value.
MailOnline also found people offering to sell tickets via social media, with one person offering a four ticket bundle costing £5,000.
Meanwhile, consumer groups are warning fans of potential ‘scam’ online ticket touts.