'We've partied more than we played football': England's triumphant Lionesses toast Euros glory

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4 min read
England players including Chloe Kelly (centre) sing Sweet Caroline on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England players including Chloe Kelly, centre, sing Sweet Caroline on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph. (PA)

England's triumphant Lionesses toasted their Euros win with fans in a victory parade on Monday – as captain Leah Williamson joked they'd "partied more than we've played football" in the 24 hours since winning the trophy.

The Lionesses were crowned European champions on Sunday evening after they dramatically beat Germany 2-1 in extra time at Wembley.

The victorious squad made their first public appearance as European champions in front of 7,000 jubilant England fans in London's Trafalgar Square.

Skipper Williamson hailed England manager Sarina Wiegman as the “missing ingredient” for the team, adding that the players had “partied more than they had played football” in the last day.

She added: "What we've done for women and young girls that can look up and inspire to be us.

England's Rachel Daly during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England's Rachel Daly during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph. (PA)
England players sing Sweet Caroline on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England players sing Sweet Caroline on stage. (PA)

"I think England have hosted an incredible tournament and we've changed the game in this country and hopefully across Europe and across the world. But we said we wanted to make our legacy about winning and that's what we did".

Chloe Kelly’s winning goal on Sunday was still fresh in the memory as families arrived as she said: "I ain't stopped dancing, my feet just keep going.

"Everyone's absolutely buzzing. We had a good night last night but some of us were a bit worse for wear this morning".

Her teammate Rachel Daly then took the microphone and began singing the Tina Turner song River Deep Mountain High as the others cheered behind her.

Watch: Lionesses arrive in Trafalgar Square to greet fans after Euro 2022 victory

England players Millie Bright and Rachel Daly with the trophy during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England players Millie Bright and Rachel Daly with the trophy. (PA)
Thousands have gathered in Trafalgar Square to celebrate England being crowned European champtions. (PA)
Thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square to celebrate England being crowned European champtions. (PA)
England's Lucy Bronze and Jill Scott on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
Lucy Bronze and Jill Scott speak to the crowds. (PA)
England players sing Sweet Caroline on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England players sing Sweet Caroline on stage. (PA)
England's Georgia Stanway, Leah Williamson and Ella Toone with their medals on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England's Georgia Stanway, Leah Williamson and Ella Toone with their medals. (PA)

Flags were waving and chants were already beginning well over two hours before those in attendance were even going to get a glimpse of the European champions.

There were audible boos, however, when London mayor Sadiq Khan took to the stage to open the event, before fans began cheering when he said the team had arrived.

The momentous occasion marked England's first big win since the 1966 World Cup, and looks to inspire a generation in ensuring the popularity of women's football keeps rising.

Read more: Chloe Kelly's tribute to US women's football star Brandi Chastain in goal celebration

England players celebrate with the trophy following victory over Germany in the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday July 31, 2022.
England players celebrate with the trophy following victory over Germany in Wembley Stadium. (PA)
England head coach Sarina Wiegman speaks to presenter Alex Scott on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman speaks to presenter Alex Scott. (PA)

Viewing figures proved the impact the team has had on the nation, with more than 17 million people tuning in to watch them clinch victory.

It makes it the most watched women’s football game in UK television history and the most-watched TV event of the year.

Lindsay Parslow, 32, said the Lionesses’ win on Sunday was a “big thing for women’s football”.

England players on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
Over 7,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square for the celebrations. (PA)
England's Chloe Kelly, Ella Toone, Leah Williamson and head coach Sarina Wiegman speaking to presenter Alex Scott on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England's Chloe Kelly, Ella Toone, Leah Williamson and head coach Sarina Wiegman speaking to presenter Alex Scott. (PA)
England's Ella Toone (centre, left) and Leah Williamson on stage with head coach Sarina Wiegman (right) and team mates during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture date: Monday August 1, 2022.
England's Ella Toone (centre, left) and Leah Williamson on stage with head coach Sarina Wiegman (right).(PA)

Kate Wilkins, 52, and her daughter Isabel Wilkins, 14, and Jo Bellotti, 55, and her daughter Mils Bellotti, 15, all from Bath, are at the fanzone after watching the final on Sunday night.

Both Isabel and Mils play football, with Mils recently joining Bristol City.

Mils said: “It was an amazing experience, it was an amazing atmosphere. The crowd was insane.

“We’ve been football fans most of our lives but it helps seeing that we can achieve that too.”

Ms Wilkins said: “We’re excited about how inspiring it’s going to be for everybody.”

Ms Bellotti said: “I’ve always loved football. And I wasn’t allowed to play it at school. So to go from that to sit in in a sellout 87,000 capacity stadium, watching women play at that level and bringing home the European Cup was just amazing. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime, to be honest. It’s quite emotional.”

“It’s more out there, more noticed – because it wasn’t before. And let’s be honest, they beat the men!”

Ms Parslow, from Rochester, Kent, was in Trafalgar Square for the celebrations alongside her partner and sons, aged 10 and 12.

She said she thinks her sons, who are “big football fans”, will now start taking more notice of women’s football.

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