England’s Euro 2022 win ‘inspiration for girls and women today’

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth leads tributes after England’s women’s team beats Germany in the final to win the first major trophy.

england football win
Chloe Kelly's extra-time goal secured England's win at a sold-out Wembley on Sunday [Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

England’s Euro 2022 football win “will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations”, Queen Elizabeth II has said after the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 to lift their first major trophy.

Chloe Kelly’s extra-time goal secured England’s win at a sold-out Wembley on Sunday.

“Your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned,” the queen said in a statement on Sunday.

“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.”

Substitute Ella Toone’s sublime chip, in front of a record crowd for any European Championships match of 87,192 at Wembley, had put England in front.

Germany’s Lina Magull levelled 11 minutes from the end of 90 minutes.

Kelly struck in extra time to give England the win, which came just over 56 years to the day since the England men defeated West Germany to win the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.

Here is how the players, experts and the fans reacted to England’s win:

England forward Kelly: “Thank you to every single person. Honestly, it’s amazing. This is what dreams are made of. It’s unbelievable. To be here and score the winner, these girls are special, this manager is special. This is amazing. I just want to celebrate now.”

England coach Sarina Wiegman: “I think we really made a change. I think this tournament has done so much for the game but also for society and women in society in England but I also think in Europe and across the world and I hope that will make a [bigger] change too.”

England captain Leah Williamson: “I just can’t stop crying. We talk, we talk and we talk and we finally [did] it. You know what? The kids are all right. This is the proudest moment of my life. Listen, the legacy of this tournament is the change in society.”

Former England striker Ian Wright: “I can’t put into words how much work has gone into this. I’m so proud, I can’t believe it!”

Former England player Gary Neville: “What the Lionesses have just done is amazing and so damned bloody hard to do. A seismic moment for Sport in this country! Well done to you all.”

Watched on, appropriately, by the square’s four famous lion statues, the fans rode a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the match, eventually ending in sheer joy.

“I think they’re wonderful,” Maggie Maybury, 67, from London, told the AFP news agency at the fan zone. “Everyone’s going to love them. They will just be the darlings. It’s going to be good for women’s sports.”

Kirsty Carey, 33, from London, said the history-making players were “a true inspiration for young girls all over the country”.

“It is a huge, huge stepping stone for English football, women’s football,” she said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies