Football was coming home – until it wasn’t as England sadly crashed and burned at the last hurdle during a penalty shoot out against Italy at the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship grand final on Sunday night.
After carrying the hopes and dreams of an entire nation on their shoulders, Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane and the boys stalled in the face of penalties to hand victory to their Italian opponents.
The team were applauded from the stands by England fans who were grateful for having witnessed the team play in an international final for the first time in almost 60 years.
And a string of celebrities joined Prince William, Scottish tennis champ Andy Murray and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in congratulating the team on proving they are the second best squad in the European Championships.
Chart topping star Adele let the pack in sharing congratulations to the team, despite their last minute failure.
The 33-year-old wrote on Instagram, while posing in a red England shirt: “You did us so proud! You brought our game home and brought us all together.”
Former Strictly Come Dancing champ Stacey Dooley also extended congratulations – and commiserations, to the boys.
She wrote on Instagram: “SO SO SO PROUD. Well done boys @england.”
Loose Women star Stacey Solomon shared a snap of her children watching the final result and offered her thanks for having her hopes raised by the team.
She wrote online: “Aw – Just wanted to say thank you to the England team for giving us so many exciting memories.
“It’s been so exciting to watch and although we are gutted for you all, you’ve been amazing.”
Loud mouthed TV host Piers Morgan shared a photo of the team and wrote: “’I admire every player who steps up & shows the balls to take a penalty in a game that important. Especially when they’re just 19, 21 & 23.”
Highlighting the players who missed the penalties, he added: “Proud of you @bukayosaka87 @sanchooo10 @marcusrashford – you missed, and we lost, but you’ve all got guts.”
This Morning host Dermot O’Leary offered condolences to 19-year-old Bukayo Saka, writing online: “Keep that beautiful head up Saka. You did your club and country proud. X”
Former Love Island champion Amber Gill wrote: “It’s sad because they deserved it but the boys done us so proud and I love them.”
Former TOWIE star Mario Falcone shared a photo of himself with his wife, Becky, and wrote: “Not the result I would have preferred but amazing night and atmosphere.”
While Denise Van Outen also added to the commiserations by typing: “You did us proud. Be proud.”
Earlier in the night, Love Island broke with tradition of keeping participants in the dark on world events to allow the contestants to watch the historic game.
The group were sad to see the team lose out to Italy – and Liberty Poole told the Love Island: After Sun audience that the boys of the villa were taking the result particularly bad.
She said: “The guys are gutted. All the girls are like: ‘What’s going on?’ – but the guys are gutted.”