England fans called the team’s victory at the Euro “a victory for the girls of the whole country.”
Among the nearly 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, where the Lionesses beat Germany in the final, were family groups, including young women and girls.
The atmosphere was like a carnival, with a huge sea of English flags being carried out of the stadium after the match as fans cheered, blew their horns and sang Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Queen’s We Are The Champions.
Two young girls with St. George flags painted on their faces were excitedly singing It’s Coming Home.
Large groups hugged and danced with each other.
Megan Morinis from Chelmsford, Essex, who watched the game with her boyfriend Max, told PA news agency: “There were so many girls and women here to watch this match – who said we don’t love football?
“They played so well against a really good team in Germany and represented that country so well.
“It wasn’t just a historic sports victory, it was a victory for girls across the country.”
Mary Kane, 33, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, who watched the game with her eight-year-old daughter Sam, said: “Girls have finally brought football home.
“We are delighted, this is a historic event, it was magic and a moment of breakthrough in women’s sports.”
Other fans said that the atmosphere in the stadium was “electrifying” and was a huge “step forward” for women’s sports.
Another said that the performance of the Lionesses was “great” and that the members of the team would go down in history as “legends”.
During the match, dozens of ticketless fans watched the match on their phones near the ground.
Craig Stevens, 58, and his wife Julie, 54, from Twickenham, southwest London, said: “We just wanted to be at Wembley while the game is going on, it’s really historic.”
As England went 1-0 ahead, many began to cheer and applaud, and cheering could be heard from a nearby pub.
Maria Quen, 27, from Willesden in northwest London, said: “I had a feeling that Thun would do something, we have the right substitutions throughout the tournament.”
The stadium was heard to explode as the second goal was scored, with a slight delay before outsiders saw it.
Lucy Richards, 19, told PA: “I can’t believe it, what a time to score.”
A group of German fans in red-black-yellow flags were clearly upset.
At midnight, people in the streets began to celebrate, and cars honked.
One police officer was seen telling his colleague not to watch the match on her phone.
The fans who came to the stadium before the match at 17:00 were mostly positive and calm, and the police had very few problems.
Groups of young women chanted “It’s coming home” and were joined by fans outside pubs and restaurants.
Young children were also seen leading the chant, with their parents following along.
The nearby BoxPark was also crowded and noisy, with pop band S Club 7 playing there.
Chelsea Women’s Football Club manager Emma Hayes encouraged the crowd to cheer and applaud louder.
Rachel Wilson from Preston, Lancashire was with her daughter Holly, who plays for the Manchester United under 13 team.
Ms Wilson said: “We are so proud of the team that showed that girls and women can play football.”
Nanny Helen Charlesworth from Orpington, Kent, was with her 22-year-old daughter Darcy, who has been into football since the age of eight and started playing with the boys as there were no women’s teams around.
Despite playing at centers of excellence and “feeling so good”, her daughter missed the competition due to a “lack of funding” in the women’s games.
Ms Charlesworth said: “The fact that the women’s game is growing is amazing.
“This tournament has definitely helped the development of the game and its support.”
Emma Newman, 21, a student from Whitby, North Yorkshire, said: “It’s a very nice atmosphere, people are only there to watch the match and nothing else.
“It’s only right that fans don’t create problems, these women are inspiring and deserve proper support.”