Euro 2020: Queen and Boris Johnson wish England well as final looms

The Queen and Boris Johnson have sent messages of support to the England team ahead of the Euro 2020 final.

The monarch recalled presenting the World Cup trophy to Bobby Moore in 1966 as she praised the current team’s “spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves”.

And in a letter to the squad, the prime minister said they had “lifted the spirits of the whole country”.

Gareth Southgate’s team play Italy at Wembley on Sunday at 20:00 BST.

The Queen’s message reads: “Fifty-five years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament.

“I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships, and send my good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”

The Queen meets Gareth Southgate in 2002
The Queen met Gareth Southgate in 2002 when he was still playing

In his letter, Mr Johnson told the team they had “already made history” by taking England into the final of a major international competition for the first time in 55 years.

“You have forged a band of brothers whose energy and tenacity and teamwork – and sheer flair – seem to shine in everything you do,” he said.

“You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift that trophy too.

“We are not just hoping or praying. We believe in you, Gareth, and your incredible squad.

“On behalf of the entire nation, good luck, have a great game – and bring it home!”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the team as “role models” as he urged them to “bring it home”.

“On and off the field, you’ve shown the best of England during this tournament,” he said.

“You’ve been as fearless as the three lions on our crest. You’ve lit up this tournament. And in spite of those who tried to undermine you, you’ve used your platform to stand up for our shared values as a country.”

Boris Johnson with an England flag outside No 10 Downing Street
No 10 Downing Street was decked out in St George’s flags ahead of the game

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday evening, Southgate said: “It has been fantastic to have the letter from the Queen and the prime minister to all of the team – and the recognition the players have gone about this in the right way.

“But we’re in a final and we’re here to win. Now we want to go and bring the trophy home.”

Earlier on Saturday, supporters lined the road as they cheered the team bus off from the England training complex near Burton upon Trent. The team are staying in Watford, closer to Wembley stadium, on Saturday night.

Captain Harry Kane said: “To see the fans on the street and see the reception we have had, it has just shown us how big of an occasion it is.

“We know how much it means to the English fans so we are proud to be representing them and hopefully we can do them proud tomorrow night.”

The Queen is not the only person wishing the England team well, with Kane revealing that actor Tom Cruise had called the squad.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “We actually had Tom Cruise get in touch yesterday evening. You get everyone who loves football.”

Kane added: “We were fortunate enough to have a watch of one of his films, so I think he was over here in the UK and he just dialled in and Facetimed us just to wish us the best as a group. So that was nice of him.

“I’m not sure if he will be there at the final or not, but football is such a big part of the world and it’s nice to have that support.”

A good luck message from David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds – who are behind the football anthem Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) – has also been projected onto the white cliffs of Dover ahead of the match.

A good luck message from David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, writers of the song Three Lions, projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover
Source: BBC