Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the England women’s football team’s Euro 2022 victory parade. Rare, indeed, are the moments a nation’s brow is raised collectively by sporting events: 1966, certainly, 1981, 2005, 2012 and by individual performances ranging from Daley Thompson to Andy Murray, from Kelly Holmes to Emma Raducanu. England’s triumph last night ranks alongside any sporting, joy-inspiring moment we have experienced together over the past 50 years and today is their time to bask in the glory, when the individual and group celebrations of last night percolate out from those who were privileged to be there to everyone else who also saw it and wants to pay tribute.
The evidence of people on the street in London this morning is the true symbol of how much a breakthrough for the women’s game last night’s victory will prove to be. “These Lionesses have raised the bar,” Alex Scott, who will host proceedings in Trafalgar Square, said this morning. “They have changed the way women’s football is viewed in this country. The train has left the station and it is gathering pace.
“It will be tragic to take any steps back after what we have witnessed yesterday and through the whole tournament. There must be an opportunity for every single girl to play football if they want to.”
Scott’s duties today involve introducing live music from DJ Monki, broadcasting a reel of England’s tournament highlights and hosting a question and answer session with the squad and their manager, Sarina Wiegman, before the trophy is lifted once again. Live coverage for the formal part – the chat and the trophy-raising – will be shown live on BBC TV from 12.40pm.
You can stick with us here for all the best images and colour from the celebrations from our reporters on the ground and from those who have been on this team’s path all the way from so many false dawns to their ascent to champions of Europe and galvanising generations of girls to take up the opportunities that are open to them, as the FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, says:
“We have worked incredibly hard to make a lot of new opportunities for girls and to make sure clubs and schools are embracing opportunities and schools are using football in the curriculum and for them to see it as normal for girls to play football like boys do.
“We have been preparing for this moment for years. We have got clubs throughout the country ready to take girls on, we have been investing in schools, we have created opportunities for girls to come forward and we are ready and willing to do that.”