Historic England win the Euros

Lucy Bronze and the England Lionesses created history on Sunday when they won the Women’s European Football Championships for the first time.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 1st August 2022, 8:19 am
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 11:34 am
England celebrate their historic win at the Euros.
England celebrate their historic win at the Euros.

In front of 87,000 fans at Wembley, and a multi-million audience around the world, they brought football home with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Germany, the scores having been level at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

For their coach, Sarina Wiegman, it was also a significant moment, as she became the first coach to win back to back championships, having also won the competition with the Netherlands in 2019.

Bronze, who was born in Berwick, lived on Holy Island, and went to school in Belford and Alnwick, is generally regarded as one of the best players in the world.

She has played for Sunderland, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City (twice), Olympic Lyon in France and will kick off next season with Barcelona in Spain.

She is also a former European Women’s Player of the Year and after Sunday’s win it was revealed by Belford county councillor Guy Renner-Thompson that he was proposing she be granted the Freedom of Northumberland - the motion will be voted on in September.

The final whistle on Sunday immediately sparked scenes of celebration, but also prompted calls for the authorities to use the victory as a stepping stone to get more girls involved in the sport at an early age.

Captain Leah Williamson, who lifted the trophy said: “Hopefully the legacy of this is that more girls will play football and more people will come and watch WSL matches.”

BBC pundit Ian Wright, who is an official Women’s Football Ambassador, said: “This is a game changer, but investment needs to be made at grassroots level to encourage girls to take up football and more girls academies also need to be created to nurture young talent.”

Another BBC presenter, and also an ex-England international, Alex Scott said: “So many people have been involved to get women’s football to this point, to see this trophy. This is what we’ve all been dreaming of.

“This moment reminds me of the 1999 Women’s World Cup when USA won. It changed the face of soccer in America forever. I feel this is a moment in England.”