London landmark enjoys ‘party atmosphere’ for England v Germany game
The event, which was held by Uefa and named the Fan Zone, involved England supporters watching the match on two large screens in one of London’s landmarks on dozens of socially-distanced tables and benches.
Moments before the game kicked off, all the fans remained silent during the German national anthem but stood up proudly to sing God Save The Queen.
Some held their fists to their chest while others raised their arms up to the sky while they sang.
During the first half, which saw England miss several chances despite their best efforts to score, fans continuously sang different football chants about Harry Maguire, Gareth Southgate and also Three Lions – an ‘anthem’ written by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds – to try and keep their spirits raised.
They booed when Declan Rice was handed a yellow card and cheered after England was given several free kicks.
Some were concerned about Gareth Southgate’s decisions on the squad, with several calling for line-up changes at half time.
Oscar Lopez, 21, a London student, said he was nervous as the game marched on.
“It’s very tense,” he told PA “There’s way too much on our shoulders but we need to step up. I want a little bit more from the players.
“If it goes to extra time, no one knows what’s going to happen, it’s no man’s land. We need to bring on subs. We can’t bank on extra time to win.”
But 10 minutes later, England scored and the fans broke out into cheers and hearty celebrations.
They all jumped up and screamed for joy, with several fans ripping off their T-shirts and swinging them over their heads with delight.
Several also jumped on to the tables while cups filled with drinks were thrown into the air.
Others danced around, hugging each other despite protests from security to maintain social distancing.
Moments later, England scored again – prompting the crowds to dance again and sing Three Lions once more.
Security at the scene and the MC at the event urged people to return to their tables but fans remained standing, elated with England’s progress.
Matt Champion, 32, who works in IT and is from Bristol, said it was his birthday and he was in the ideal place to celebrate it, adding: “This is the best birthday party I could have ever organised.”
When full-time was called, the crowd remained in the square, dancing, singing, chanting and hugging each other.
Later on, they were urged to leave by security where they piled out into London’s streets, beeping their cars, singing and cheering.
Anthony Robinson, 34, who lives in London and works in finance, watched the match with his mum Sue Bedding, 59, at the fan zone in Trafalgar Square.
Mr Robinson said: “The atmosphere here was crazy. We’re definitely pleased we came here to watch it. We were going to go to a pub to watch it but just thought, if England win it, to be here to watch it in Trafalgar Square is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s the next best thing to going to Wembley.”
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