England’s 4-0 drubbing of Sweden at Bramall Lane was greeted with tears, cheers and choruses of “football’s coming home” in Sheffield city centre.
Up to 2,000 fans gathered on the city’s Devonshire Green to watch the goal count mount on a giant screen.
Jamie Ferreday, 27, from Chesterfield, said: “I think it’s the best England win in a century to be honest.
“I think it’s genuinely coming home. We beat Sweden – the best team in the tournament. Who have we got to fear now?
“I didn’t think it would be this good. England normally make us sweat.”
Ali Parkin, 19, from Sheffield, said it was all just too much.
“I can’t cope,” Ms Parkin said.
“I thought we’d win, but maybe by a single goal in extra time – but not this. I cannot believe it.”
Jamie Broughton, 22, from Dronfield near Sheffield, said: “There’s no doubt we’re gonna go all the way now. I don’t think anyone can stop us.”
Jeff Lomas, from Salford said: “What a great occasion? We just battered them in the second half. I just want Germany now in the final.”
Charles Turner, 37, said his daughter Maisey was inspired.
He said: “Role models, every single one of them. I’m a bit emotional, if I’m honest.
“They could teach the men a thing or two. Absolutely amazing stuff.”
Maisey, 12, said: “I liked all the goals but the third one was the best. I could not believe it.”
When Alessia Russo potted England’s third with her audacious back-heel, firefighters in Sheffield joined in the adulation, tweeting: “We’re getting reports of footballers on fire at Bramall Lane.”
We're getting reports of footballers on fire at Bramall Lane.
Can anyone verify?! 🔥@Lionesses
— South Yorkshire Fire (@SYFR) July 26, 2022
It was mainly England flags being waved at the Sheffield fan park but Sweden supporters took over the city centre earlier in the day from their base at the Frog & Parrot pub – singing all afternoon to a relentless bass drum before marching together through the city to Bramall Lane stadium.
Around 1,500 Sweden fans were thought to be in Sheffield for the match.
Sisters Caroline and Ida Gunnarsson, 24 and 17, were leading the partying outside the Frog and Parrot pub.
Caroline said: “It amazing here. We are loving it.
“The English people are just amazing.”
The match was played as a Sheffield academic claimed that the city is the true home of the beautiful game, pointing to it having the oldest clubs, grounds and trophies as well as being the place where many of the rules that shaped the way football is played were first formulated.
Every hotel room in Sheffield has reported to have been snapped up for the much-anticipated Euro clash.
Sheffield City Council estimates 7,500 international fans have attended fixtures in the city.
The council said the economic impact for the city, which has put its hat in the ring to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, is expected to be around £3 million.