BORIS Johnson today roars for England’s Lionesses to “ruthlessly hunt as a team” like a pride to seal Euro glory against the Germans tonight.
In a message ahead of the Wembley final, the PM said he’s sure they’ll “bring their prize home”.
As manager Sarina Wiegman and her team also got a “good luck” message from the royals, Mr Johnson heaped praise on them. In a letter addressed to Sarina, captain Leah Williamson and the team, he wrote: “On behalf of the whole country I want to wish you all the very best of luck in today’s final.
“Your passion for the game, your tenacity in tricky spots and, above all, your astounding talent on the pitch have already created a summer of fantastic memories for millions of us.
“You can see it in the sold-out stadia, in the packed fan zones, in the small children dancing wildly to Sweet Caroline and the TV viewing figures that have seen records crumbling almost as comprehensively as Sweden’s defence did in the semi-final. In any pride, it is the lionesses who ruthlessly hunt as a team and bring their prize back home — and I am sure that will be the case against Germany.”
No10 was yesterday draped in England bunting and flags, with Downing Street’s official Twitter page posting: “We’re flying the flag for the @Lionesses. Come on England, bring it home.”
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They face Germany in front of a sell-out 90,000 Wembley crowd at 5pm, hoping to cement their place in history with a first major tournament victory.
The final is expected to be the most-watched telly event of the year with a record-breaking 19.5 million viewers. Some 4.6million fans are set to watch from pubs, bars and restaurants — spending £46.1million and knocking back 8.7million pints.
Those watching from home will splash £92.1million on booze and snacks, according to the Women’s Euro 2022 Spending Report by VoucherCodes.co.uk.
The free-scoring Lionesses have inspired a generation of girls with their breathtaking performances — culminating in a 4-0 demolition of Sweden on Tuesday to catapult them into the final.
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They have notched 20 goals in the Euros — one off eight-time champs Germany’s record set at the 2009 tourney. The country has new heroines after the backheeling brilliance of super-sub Alessia Russo plus team-mates Beth Mead, Millie Bright and more.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said they had become “strong, successful role models in sport”.
He sent a message, saying: “What you have accomplished this summer will not just be celebrated as a great moment for English football but as one that encouraged and inspired young women like my own daughter.”
England’s 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst, whose hat-trick helped sink West Germany, branded them “absolutely fantastic”. He told Times Radio: “Getting into the final is fantastic.”
The Lionesses will earn £55,000 each if they win — and thousands will be cheering them on at boozers across the country, along with 7,000 people at the designated fan park in London’s Trafalgar Square.
An all-women RAF crew will perform a fly-past above Wembley at 4.57pm, immediately after the national anthems are played.
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A C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, crewed by three women, will soar over the stadium flanked by two Typhoon fighter jets. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I wish the best of luck to the Lionesses as they take on Germany at Wembley.”
The FA expects 120,000 more girls to be playing the sport by 2024 due to England’s success.
By Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary
WHAT an amazing month of football this has been!
Sarina Wiegman’s squad have captured the nation’s imagination. The Euros have highlighted how far attitudes have changed to women’s sport.
More than 500,000 tickets sold — more than doubling the total attendance for any previous women’s Euros.
For the players, there has been progress too. We now have some bespoke sponsorship and broadcast rights deals, the England men’s and women’s senior players are now paid the same match fee, and clubs are introducing improved contracts. Football is the most played grassroots team sport for women. The success can only be built on.
The Government has supported the Euro 2022 tournament with £4.6 million.
Now schools must listen to which sports kids want to play.
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