The Morning After the Night Before as England Brace Themselves for Euro Final

July 8, 2021 Updated: July 8, 2021

The great clean-up operation has begun in earnest after England striker Harry Kane’s extra-time winner sent the men’s national football team to their first major tournament final in more than half a century.

Before many jubilant fans roused from their slumbers on Thursday, street teams were out clearing up after those whose celebrations stumbled into excess.

Some streets across the nation were strewn with empty disposable plastic pint glasses, food cartons, laughing gas canisters, and other detritus.

Elsewhere, there were signs of damage to street furniture.

In central London, cleaning staff were seen at dawn working to tidy up Leicester Square, where many fans congregated on Wednesday night during and after England’s 2–1 victory over Denmark.

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Fans in Trafalgar Square celebrate England qualifying for the Euro 2020 final, in London, on July 7, 2021. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

One woman cleaning the area told the PA news agency on Thursday morning: “It is a disgrace.

“People have damaged the irrigation system and some climbed up the fountain.

“There may be an investigation launched into it as we are not sure how much damage was caused.

“People can have fun but they don’t need to get sloshed.”

The Metropolitan Police said 23 arrests were made by officers across London following the match for offences including common assault, public order, and assault on police.

The capital also saw fans clamber on top of London buses as they celebrated the win.

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A man sits on top of a bus while England fans celebrate in Piccadilly Circus, central London, on July 7, 2021. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

In excess of 20 million people were predicted to have watched the game on television, with an estimated 10 million pints ordered during the course of the day.

Favourites from the football fans’ songbook reverberated around England post-match, including Sweet Caroline and Three Lions.

Players and staff also joined in a singalong with many of the jubilant 60,000 fans inside Wembley, where England supporters outnumbered their Danish counterparts by around six to one.

Fans released red-coloured smoke and carried on singing as they swarmed out of the stadium at full-time.

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Fans let off flares as they celebrate in Piccadilly Circus, central London, on July 7, 2021. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Addi Hassan, 21, described the win as “absolutely incredible, absolutely world class.”

England fans Scarlet Devereux and Lucy Millard, both 18, were elated as they left Wembley.

Devereux said: “It was a brilliant game, the atmosphere was absolutely amazing.”

Millard added: “It’s the first time in so many years we’ve been in the semi-finals so it’s absolutely amazing. It’s coming home.”

John Engall, 65, who was a schoolboy during England’s only previous major triumph—the 1966 World Cup final—said he felt “absolutely fantastic” after watching the match from BOXPARK in Croydon.

“I remember ’66 but I’m much more ecstatic now than when I was 10,” he said.

“It was a brilliant game, it could have gone either way but well, it seems to have gone our way.”

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Fans celebrate England qualifying for the Euro 2020 final in Manchester, on July 7, 2021. (Martin Rickett/PA)

Fans at Trafalgar Square waved England flags and merged together in a huge crowd after the final whistle.

One supporter, Oliver Ways, 28, said: “This time it’s coming home, the momentum is with us, I don’t care what anyone says.

“I’m so drunk but I don’t care—the game was just how we wanted it.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but England are in a final.”

England’s men last reached a major football final in 1966, while the women’s side were losing finalists at Euro 1984 and 2009.

The final against Italy will take place on Sunday at 8 p.m.