Havant football fans devastated by ‘gutwrenching’ blow as England loses Euro 2020 final to Italy
DISMAYED England supporters in Havant were left reeling after the nail-biting Euro 2020 final ended in defeat for their team.
Pubgoers at the Wheelwright’s Arms on Emsworth Road held their heads in their hands after the Three Lions lost to Italy in penalties.
Angry fans called the final an ‘anticlimax’, saying that they were disappointed that ‘weeks of build-up’ had led to such a disappointing result.
The sense of frustration replaced the happy atmosphere earlier in the evening as pub-goers excitedly anticipated kick-off.
Optimism was high before the match - England’s first final since 1966 - with many predicting a win for their team.
Mark Teagust from Havant said: 'I'm feeling quite confident, they've been playing well. I think we'll beat them.'
Dave Burns, also from Havant, said: 'There's something about an international tournament that brings people together. I predict that if England win this game, Gareth Southgate will get knighted.'
The Wheelwright’s Arms set up a projector so that more fans could watch the match from the pub’s back room.
Shouts of joy erupted minutes into the match when Luke Shaw scored the fastest goal in Euro final history.
Although spirits were high at half time, angry voices filled the air when Leonardo Bonucci hit the ball into the back of the net in the second half.
But as Guy Stevenson of Havant said: 'It's going to make a game of it.'
Drinkers cheered as Jack Grealish took to the pitch, and the nerve-wracking second half went into extra time.
Fans were starting to worry when the match went into penalties with several saying ‘England are rubbish at penalties’, but still cheered on their team every time a goal was saved or scored.
However, despite the celebrations for England’s early goal and fans saying that they had ‘a good feeling’ for their team, Italy won 3-2 on penalties.
When the final whistle sounded, pub patrons packed up and left straight away.
Tom Kennedy, landlord of the Wheelwright’s Arms, said: ‘It’s just one of those things - but it is gutwrenching.’’