‘The history boys’: joy unconfined as papers celebrate England’s semi-final win

The joy of England’s footballers reaching a major final for the first time in 55 years is given due justice on the front pages of the papers – along with a sense of relief that the team finally managed to do the job.

The Mirror’s headline is simply “Finally” noting that Harry Kane’s winning goal means that “after 55 years of hurt Harry and his heroes beat the Danes … now to match the heroes of 1966”.

The Express goes for “And finally” and adds “Now bring on Italy!” under a picture of the team celebrating Kane’s winning goal converted on the rebound after his penalty was saved by Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

The Sun picks up on the famous advertising slogan of the Danish beer Carlsberg with the headline “Probably the best feeling in the world”.

The Guardian’s front page is dominated by a picture of Kane wheeling away in triumph after his goal with the headline “England’s dreaming: now final awaits for first time since ‘66” over a piece by Jonathan Liew summing up the hopes of the nation.

Looking forward to Sunday’s final against Italy, he writes: “For this country’s long-suffering fans, there are still grimmer agonies ahead. But here, now, under dark skies and bright lights, England made us happy.”

The Telegraph takes the long view back to the famous World Cup triumph of 1966 with the headline “The history boys” over another picture of the goal celebrations. It also boasts a 12-page supplement inside the paper.

The Times also likes that perspective and goes with the splash headline “England make history”. Its chief football writer, Henry Winter, begins his match report: “England are in a final — a final! — and these are the strangest, rarest, and most beautiful of words to write, read or even imagine.”

The Mail says “Kane you believe it” as it describes a “night of drama” on which the team kept the country on the edge of their seats.

The i celebrates “Fairytale football” and the Star’s splash reads “Is this the greatest dream ever?” as it puts the fans’ experience at the forefront of its front page coverage.

Of the London editions, only the Financial Times resists lure of the football. It’s early edition leads with “Fintech Wise valued close to £9bn after record London direct listing”.

North of the border it’s a different story. The Scotsman leads on “Lockdown easing at risk as hospitals struggle” but it does have a picture of Gareth Southgate, the England manager, celebrating the win.

The Record also acknowledges the win with a modest picture of Kane at the top of the page.

It was a different story in Denmark. On the front page of the news website Politiken was the headline: “The adventure is over”.


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