England football fever has reached a new peak of excitement as up to 30 million people are expected to tune into the Three Lions’ semi-final showdown with Denmark in front of 65,000 fans at Wembley on Wednesday night.
It follows England’s 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine in Rome on Saturday when 26.1 million people watched the game, making it the biggest TV event of 2021.
One former captain spoke on Monday of the “incredible feeling” of knowing that the whole country is willing you on.
Former skipper Alan Shearer, who played in Euro 96 when England also reached the semi-finals, told BBC Breakfast this morning: “You can’t escape the atmosphere, but then you don’t really want to. It’s an incredible feeling, knowing the whole nation is supporting you on a stage as big as this.”
In an interview on the BBC Sports website, the Match of the Day pundit and former Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers striker added: “I can’t help getting carried away about our chances of making it through to the final on 11 July.
“As I said on TV, it feels like something very special is happening with this England side, and why shouldn’t we get excited when the team are doing well? It’s what we want, it’s what we are here for, and it’s what we needed.
“There’s plenty of reasons to be confident too. We started Euro 2020 slowly but we are getting better every game. Everything seems to be clicking and the win over Ukraine was our best performance of this tournament so far.”
If England beat Denmark they will reach the final of a major tournament for the first time since 1966 when Sir Alf Ramsey’s men conquered West Germany 4-2 to lift the Jules Rimet trophy. They will face either Spain or Italy who play in the other semi-final at Wembley tomorrow night.
Denmark will be relying on UK-based Danes for support because covid restrictions means fans cannot travel here from Europe.
Around 5,000 tickets have been allocated to the visitors, with Danes living in the UK facing a nervous wait to find out if they have been allocated one.
One fan, Bette Petersen Broyd, who lives in Croydon, learned she had bagged three tickets to the game and said: “I feel I’m not just there for me, I’m there for lots of people.
“I’m there for the players, to make them feel they’re backed by their almost-home crowd.”