And now the clean-up begins…West End and Wembley are covered in litter after being taken over by England fans in scenes of chaos before final
- Street sweepers and rubbish collectors were out in force tidying up the roads
- They had started early at 4am to deal with the mammoth task ahead of them
- The rubbish was left by fans disappointed by England’s Euro final loss
The big clean-up after last night’s disappointing Euros final began in earnest this morning across London.
Street sweepers and rubbish collectors were out in force tidying up the roads and pathways as daylight broke.
Unsurprisingly Wembley had some of the worst litter left over by the thousands of fans who left the stadium.
And the West End also bore the marks of the late night loss as crestfallen supporters’ rubbish was strewn across the ground.
Among the abandoned items were England flags and memorabilia jettisoned after the team fell at the final hurdle on penalties.
The big clean up task for London’s street cleaning teams started at 4am this morning
An unprecedented amount of waste, broken glass and rubbish was strewn all over the street
England flags could be seen on the ground discarded after the dispiriting loss last night
There were thousands of empty and crushed beer cans tossed and left abandoned street side
The refuse collectors had started early at 4am to deal with the mammoth task ahead of them.
England’s dreams of Euro 2020 glory were shattered at Wembley last night as they lost to Italy on penalties – extending the ’55 years of hurt’ but leaving the nation expressing pride at the Three Lions’ achievements.
Despite two spot-kick saves from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their efforts to hand the Italians a 3-2 shootout win after a nerve-shredding 120 minutes had ended 1-1.
The actions of a minority of fans cast a shadow over the event as dozens of ticketless fans stormed the stadium before kick-off, 19 police were injured covering it and England’s trio of penalty-missers suffered racist abuse after the game.
Piles of rubbish were evident along Olympic Way, near Wembley Stadium in North London
Hard working staff were out in force dealing with the rubbish that were all over the streets
Rubbish bags packed with thrown away packaging had burst under the strain of the load
A member of the public surveys the scene amid the piles of rubbish littering the streets
For the vast majority of the 60,000 inside Wembley and the millions at watching home, the disappointment at another defeat on penalties was tempered by the satisfaction of England making their first major final since the 1966 World Cup win.
In the royal box, Prince George looked shattered at the end as Prince William and Kate Middleton comforted him, after a first half that had the Cambridges rocking.
After the match, William wrote: ‘Heartbreaking. Congratulations @Azzurri on a great victory. @England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day.
‘You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves – I know there’s more to come.’
The loss was felt particularly acutely by manager Gareth Southgate, whose own penalty miss saw England knocked out of Euro ’96 to Germany.
Police officers patrol along a rubbish-laden street in Leicester Square this morning
A man cycles past a rubbish-laden street in Trafalgar Square on July 12, 2021 in London
The clean-up after the big night will continue long into the day after the devastating loss
Beer cans, water bottles and even the remains of a traffic cone were part of the litter
Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Southgate – as Terry Venables had comforted him 25 years earlier on the same pitch.
In a bitter irony it was the substituted penalty specialists Rashford and Sancho who failed to score before Saka’s shot was saved. The teenager broke down in tears afterwards as senior players rallied round him.
Tears flowed along Wembley way after the heart-breaking finish to go along with the despair of thousands of fans who ended up locked out of the stadium.
The clean-up in London is expected to carry on for much of the day.