England’s demolition of Ukraine has sparked a huge scramble to get tickets for the semi-final clash with Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night.
After the Three Lions reached the last four of the Euros for the first time in 25 years, tens of thousands of fans tried to get hold of tickets on the official Uefa website.
Such was the demand that many supporters were placed in an online queue – only to discover there were no tickets left when they reached the front of it.
England football fans climb the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus, central London. England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 in Rome on Saturday night with one of their most accomplished and composed performances of recent times
About 5,000 England fans watched Gareth Southgate’s men romp to victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Queues also formed on resale websites, where touts are flogging tickets for the game at £1,400 each. This is a mark-up of 20 times the original face value of the cheapest tickets, which cost £73.
Tickets for the final are already being traded by touts for more than £3,000 each – even though the finalists have yet to be decided.
England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 in Rome on Saturday night with one of their most accomplished and composed performances of recent times.
The Football Association said the England Supporters’ Travel Club had been given an allocation of nearly 8,500 tickets for the game and was working with Uefa to ‘secure more tickets’
Some 60,000 supporters will be allowed in Wembley for the semi-final in what will be the biggest football crowd since the pandemic took hold in March last year
Prince William tweeted: ‘Another top team performance and clean sheet from England tonight. Well played to Ukraine. Can’t wait for Wednesday’s semi-final! Onwards.’
The manner of the victory ratcheted up hopes – which were already high after the 2-0 win against Germany – that England could win their first trophy since the World Cup glory of 1966. Fan zones and pubs were inundated with bookings yesterday as the country continues to ride the wave of euphoria provided by its footballers.
Some 60,000 supporters will be allowed in Wembley for the semi-final in what will be the biggest football crowd since the pandemic took hold in March last year.
Beautiful Noise! Neil Diamond backs 3 Lions
His classic song Sweet Caroline has become a favourite among England fans.
Now in return, Neil Diamond, 80, has backed Gareth Southgate’s team to win the Euros.
Before the quarter-final victory over Ukraine, the American singer said: ‘What a thrill to hear everyone singing Sweet Caroline. I hope you can do it again – here’s to England.’ Southgate said the song ‘is a belter’ as he revealed his backroom team played the song on their coach before the 2-0 win over Germany last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, expats in Kiev reworked Sting’s hit Englishman in New York to sing ‘I’m an Englishman in Ukraine’ as they celebrated their victory.
The Football Association said the England Supporters’ Travel Club had been given an allocation of nearly 8,500 tickets for the game and was working with Uefa to ‘secure more tickets’. The Danish FA said its allocation of 5,000 tickets will be sold to Danes living in the UK. Fans in Denmark cannot travel for the game because they would have to quarantine. Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, said: ‘We’re seeing a number of websites and secondary ticket sellers offering tickets for sale for hundreds of pounds. But fans need to be aware there’s no guarantee they will get their tickets or entry to the match if they buy from an unofficial seller and they could be left seriously out of pocket.’
About 5,000 England fans watched Gareth Southgate’s men romp to victory at the Stadio Olimpico. After those in England were banned from flying to Rome, expats travelled from the US, Dubai and across the EU to support the national team.
Expat James Curran, 25, who travelled from Prague with two friends for the match, said: ‘It has been the most amazing night. I don’t think anyone in the stadium expected this result. Everyone is in dreamland.’
Just over 26 million watched the game on TV in living rooms, pubs, restaurants and fan zones. Many woke up with sizeable hangovers yesterday after parties in villages, towns and cities carried on late into the night.
Most of the celebrations were good-natured, but two officers were injured as police tried to disperse revellers in London’s Leicester Square. They made nine arrests.
DAVID MELLOR: It felt like we hadn’t just won a soccer match… we’d beaten Covid!
COMMENTARY BY DAVID MELLOR
As I leapt up and danced in front of the TV on Saturday evening, I was celebrating more than just a magnificent 4-0 victory in the football. My joy was fired by the power of football to move an entire nation.
England captain Harry Kane and our gifted forward Raheem Sterling were embracing on screen – and that image epitomised everything that is best about modern Britain.
Our country is multiracial and proud of it, a huge pool of wondrous combined talents.
With the windows wide open at my cottage in Dorset, I felt sure I could hear the cheers from Carlisle to Cornwall. The whole country was united in euphoria.
At that moment it seemed to me that we hadn’t just won a football match, we were throwing off the shackles of more than a year of oppression, restrictions and fear.
We hadn’t just beaten the Germans and the Ukrainians – we have beaten Covid.
Since March last year we have been cowed and afraid – afraid of getting ill, afraid of spreading the virus, afraid of undermining the NHS, and – increasingly – afraid of disobeying authority.
We have put up with draconian laws that I never imagined would – or even could – be imposed in this freedom-loving country.
What Napoleon and Hitler couldn’t do to us, this virus has.
England’s fans celebrate their team’s victory at the end of the UEFA EURO 2020 quarter-final football match between England and Ukraine
But we’re breaking out of those chains now. Much to my surprise and unease, in the past 16 months the British people have stayed indoors when ordered to do so.
This was still the case when the politicians and scientists laying down the law were openly flouting their own regulations (as apparatchiks of a dictatorship always do).
We ceased going to the pub and we postponed weddings indefinitely. We accepted that we could not visit our loved ones in care homes, and even that we could not gather at funerals.
But we cannot be stopped from celebrating football triumphs. A goal is a goal, and we’re bloody well going to cheer about it. I have high hopes that England will beat Denmark on Wednesday and progress to a major international final for the first time in more than half a century – probably against Italy.
The Italians will be tough opponents, but with the optimism of the eternal fan I believe we can win that match too, and lift the trophy. If so, the boost to the nation will be incalculable.
But even if we don’t emerge as champions, Saturday’s win marked the effective end of lockdown. There is no going back now.
I first understood the impact that our national game can have on the public mood in 1966, as a teenager working through my school summer holidays.
In a perfect world, I would have been at Wembley to see England beat Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final. Instead, I was a deckchair attendant on Swanage Beach in Dorset. There were no big screens, of course, only radios. As I strolled up and down the sand, handing out tickets and collecting a few bob here and there, I was given updates by every group of sunbathers.
Wild celebrations among England fans in Newcastle’s Times Square as Harry Maguire heads England 2-0 ahead in the Euro 2020 quarter final match
Tickets for the final are already being traded by touts for more than £3,000 each – even though the finalists have yet to be decided
When the winning goal went in, no one had to tell me. The whole beach was celebrating.
I saw that day the extraordinary evidence of football’s power to unite the nation. It could transcend everything else, and create a mood of unstoppable buoyancy right across the country.
That sense never left me. When I joined Margaret Thatcher’s government a couple of decades later, football was in the doldrums. There were only two ministers willing to admit they loved the game – Ken Clarke and me.
The Prime Minister herself detested football. It was one of her blind spots. She thought it represented everything that was worst about the English character, a game whose supporters were awash with drunkenness and violence. But to me, it is truly the People’s Game – proof that how you voted at the last election, or where your parents were born, are all irrelevant.
When Harry Kane sent the Ukraine keeper the wrong way and slotted the ball home, we were all simply England fans. Delirious, whooping, bellowing England fans. And a nation united is a nation that will no longer be stopped by authority from enjoying a normal life. After that liberating display, we won’t stand for the doom-mongering any more.
In the run-up to the postponement of June 21 as Freedom Day, I sensed a certain wariness about taking the plunge – but now the campaign to end all restrictions on July 19 has gained an unstoppable momentum.
David Mellor was a Cabinet minister under John Major