Fans packed pubs and bars across the county – with many more on the edge of their sofas – as they went through a rollercoaster of emotions.
England’s long wait for a major trophy goes on after Gareth Southgate’s side saw their Euro 2020 dreams end in a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy
The nation was at a standstill for the Three Lions’ biggest match in 55 years and Luke Shaw’s early stunner at a rocking Wembley had fans dreaming that football would be coming home rather than going to Rome.
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But Italy wrested control of Sunday’s final and deservedly levelled through Leonardo Bonucci, with the match going to extra-time and on to spot-kicks after it ended 1-1.
England boss Southgate failed with the key effort in the Euro 96 semi-final loss to Germany and Wembley witnessed another gutting shoot-out loss in the country’s first ever European Championship final.
Harry Maguire, a former pupil of St Mary’s in Chesterfield, scored with arguably the best penalty in the shootout, smashing high into the top corner.
Jordan Pickford denied Andrea Belotti and Jorginho, but Marcus Rashford hit the post before fellow substitutes Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were denied as Italy won the shoot-out 3-2.
It was a crushing end to a summer that will live long in the memory after Southgate’s side went agonisingly close to following in the footsteps of Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup heroes by triumphing on home soil.
After the game, Maguire said: “We are heartbroken, disappointed, gutted, the lads are devastated.”
Pre-match chaos made way for a perfect start as Shaw hammered home his first England goal after just 117 seconds – the quickest ever goal in a European Championship final.
But England’s intensity eventually tapered off and the Azzurri grew into proceedings, with Roberto Mancini’s men dictating the play in the second half and deservedly drew levelling through Bonucci.
It wasn’t to be, and Italty held their nerve to win on penalties and take the title.However, England fans can be proud of the effort their team put in, in a night of drama.