The Lionesses continue to celebrate their historic win against Germany in the Euros 2022 finals, with a victory ceremony taking place in front of thousands at Trafalgar Square.
The entire team will be awarded the Freedom of the City of London after being nominated by Lord Mayor of the City of London, Vincent Keaveny.
“Last night’s triumphant win against Germany has cemented the team’s place in sporting history and as a nation, we couldn’t be prouder of them,” he said.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham told BBC Breakfast the stunning victory will transform women’s football.
“They will really encourage girls around the country to go and play, and we’ve always said there is no reason why we shouldn’t have the same number of girls playing as boys, and we think it will create a whole new generation of heroes for girls to aspire to be like.”
Former American player Brandi Chastain told Sky News it’s “a feather in a cap that no one can take away”.
She said: “What it would have done for the countless tens of, maybe hundreds, of thousands of girls in England is to give them this dream that, it is possible for them.
England Lionesses 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Victory Celebration For Fans in Trafalgar Square
“Now the future of the women’s league in England and around the world will see that what we’re doing is absolutely worthy.
“The win in England is good for everybody, global football. It’s incredibly powerful.”
Former England footballer Alex Scott told BBC Breakfast “they’ve changed the way football is viewed in this country forever, and there’s no going back now”.
“It will be tragic to take any steps back now.”
Tributes flow for Lionesses
It follows a long night of celebrations after the team’s historic victory, beating Germany 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The Queen led tributes as they became the first senior England side to win a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup.
In a message to the team, Her Majesty the Queen said the royals’ “warmest congratulations” went to the players.
She said: “It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff. The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.
“However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.
“It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
— Spice Girls (@spicegirls) July 31, 2022
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it a “stunning victory”.
“Football pitches across the country will be filled as never before by girls and women inspired by your triumph,” he said.
The Spice Girls praised the Lionesses for their “girl power” as they posted a photo of the team celebrating their win on Twitter.The British girl group captioned the post: “Congratulations @Lionesses True GirlPower right there.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan added: “The country couldn’t be prouder of you today. The talent and determination you’ve displayed throughout the tournament is incredible.”
Adele, who was among the crowd cheering on the Lionesses at Wembley, said on social media: “You did it!! It’s come home!! Congratulations lionesses what a game changer!! So proud.”
Comedian David Baddiel, who recorded the classic football anthem, Three Lions, said he could finally say the song’s lyrics, “It’s coming home”.
The band and Mr Baddiel had reunited on Saturday at Camden’s Electric Ballroom to perform a special rendition of the song which had altered lyrics in celebration of the Lionesses’ success in the tournament.
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood said the Lionesses had “made us all so proud” as he congratulated them. He added: “What an incredible result! Thank you forever!”
Singer Niall Horan described the women’s win as “inspirational”, adding: “What a great tournament! Incredible advert for women’s football and sport in general.
Actress Dame Joan Collins also shared her congratulations saying “BringItHome they did!” while TV presenter Les Dennis described the team as “amazing”.
Comedian Miranda Hart revealed she was emotional over the victory, writing: “Crying. So brilliant. So important. Too emotional to articulate more.
“I am glad there are 7 year olds watching this who wanted to be a goalkeeper like I did! But didn’t think it was ‘appropriate’ or ‘allowed’ to voice it. Thank you Lionesses.”
In Pictures | Women’s Euro 2022 Final: England vs Germany
Meanwhile, Harry Kane, captain of England men’s side said: “Absolutely unreal scenes at Wembley!! Massive congrats to the amazing @Lionesses!!”
Delighted fans pouring out of the stadium told of their joy at the occasion, with one saying the “girls finally brought football home".
Mary Caine, 33, from Macclesfield, said: “We’re delighted, it’s historic, it was magic in there and a breakthrough moment for women’s sport."
Robin Mcalpine, 23, who lives in London, added the evening had been "super emotional".
She said: “The atmosphere of being at a women’s match was so friendly and watching everyone get behind the team. The vibes were great.”