'It's given us all a big lift' - Football fans speak to the Gazette on England's road to the Euro final

With the countdown on to kick-off at the Euro 2020 final, we headed out in South Shields to speak to some of you ahead of tonight’s big game!

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 6:58 pm

England will face Italy in the final at Wembley from 8pm on Sunday, July 11 – but do you think football’s coming home after a tournament to remember?

From score predictions and standout players to penalties and milestone moments, here is what you had to say about England’s journey to the Euros final.

David Smith, of South Shields, gave his score prediction to the Gazette on Sunday afternoon. We’d definitely take it!

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Dean and Dan Hutchinson, in their England wigs, pictured with their family in South Shields.

He said: “Kane to score two, 2-1 - never seen England win an international tournament, so to see them do it this time and at Wembley would be amazing.

“Even just seeing them get to the final has been great - it’s given us all a big lift.

“I’m confident England will win. Harry will produce the goods.”

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Lauren McCullough, of Seaham, speaks to the Gazette in South Shields.

Lauren McCullough, of Seaham, spoke to us while enjoying the sunshine outside Minchella’s.

She said: “I think England will win 2-1 - Kane and Sterling to score.

“I never thought I’d see England reach a final in my lifetime. It’s an amazing feeling - especially with it being at Wembley.

“People haven’t had anything to look forward to for the past 16 months - now they have this.

Stuart Fowler of Whitburn shares his thoughts ahead of the match.

“I’m a Liverpool fan but my player of the tournament would probably have to be Phillips, the lad from Leeds.

"Considering where he’s come from, he’s done a cracking job in the middle of the park.”

Stuart Fowler, of Whitburn, thinks England have the edge.

Donna Niman and David Rankin, front.

“Some of the football they’ve strung together in the knockout games has been phenomenal,” he said.

“Sterling, Kane and Maguire have been the standout players for me. But it seems like they’ve all raised their game.

“Italy are a good outfit - it’ll be a close game whichever way it goes. But I think we’ll have just enough to edge it.”

We also spoke to Donna Niman and David Rankin, from Manchester, who are on holiday in the North East.

They should have been in Italy, were it not for Covid.

David, who is Scottish, said England’s penalty in the semi-finals against Denmark should not have stood.

He continued: “I reckon there might be some trouble tonight if England don’t win. We’ll see what happens.

“I think it’ll end up 2-1 Italy.”

Donna added: “It’s been really nice for a lot of people. Our son, for one, has really gotten into it and so have his mates.

“It’s lovely to see so many people out here in the sunshine, enjoying the atmosphere and getting ready for the match.

Meanwhile, cousins Dean and Dan Hutchinson travelled to the North East from Grimsby to spend time with their family.

Dan, whose spirits were high, said: “It’s coming home! We’ve a 100% record for Wembley finals.

“It just feels like it’s all coming together this year - the young players have all come through brilliantly and are playing out of their skin.

“They’ve gone through the experience of going out in the semis at the World Cup.”

Dean added: “My son’s just completed a course at the College, so we’ve come up to see him and to enjoy the game and the sunshine.

“We’re going to be heading to Newcastle later on to watch the game.

"But in the meantime we’re doing our bit to help generate a bit of atmosphere. We’re all Newcastle fans, so it’s all worked out really well.”

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