England Lionesses praised for 'empowering' women and girls as crowds gather for final

A sea of England shirts can be seen across the capital with the final taking place at Wembley

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Tens of thousands of were seen around Wembley Stadium hours before the women’s Euros final.

A sea of England shirts and flags are pouring into the stadium with less than three hours to go before kick-off, blowing horns and waving clappers.

Many of those attending are in family groups, including young women and girls, with the atmosphere calm and positive.

Among the crowd was Emma Newman, 21, a student from Whitby, North Yorkshire, who said “It’s a really nice atmosphere, people are just here to see the match and nothing else.

England fans inside Wembley stadium
England fans inside Wembley stadium
Fans have also packed nearby Boxpark
Fans have also packed nearby Boxpark

“It’s right that fans aren’t causing trouble, these women are inspiring and deserve to be supported properly.

“I just hope they can get the job done.”

A mother and daughter who are attending the final at Wembley together said the England team’s success has “helped grow” women’s football.

Childminder Helen Charlesworth, from Orpington, Kent, said her daughter Darcey, 22, had enjoyed football from the age of eight and started playing with boys as there were no girls’ teams around.

Fans arrive to the stadium ahead of the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday July 31, 2022.
Fans arrive to the stadium ahead of the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday July 31, 2022.
Fans make their way to the stadium before the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London
Fans make their way to the stadium before the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London

She said: “I’m feeling nervous but excited. When we got the tickets last year it was a dream that England would be in the final and now it’s come true.

“To be at a home tournament is amazing. The team is so strong and there is a real team spirit about them.

“The fact that the women’s game is growing is amazing.

“This tournament has definitely helped grow the game and support for it,” Ms Charlesworth added.

Mitra Wilson, 38, an osteopath receptionist from Croydon, is watching the final in Trafalgar Square with her daughters Rebecca, nine, and Isabelle, eight, who are both wearing England flag face paint.

She said: “It is empowering them (her daughters) to know they can do it and nothing has to hold them back.”

Rebecca said a Lionesses victory would make her “so happy”.

She said: “It would make me so happy because the women have worked so hard for the Euros tonight and I’m going to really enjoy it.

“Girls can do whatever they want.”

After going in at half-time deadlocked, the Lionesses took the lead through Ella Toone.

With the game heading towards the closing stages, Germany made their pressure count with an equaliser by Lina Magull.