Doncaster's despair as England suffer Euro 2020 penalty shootout heartbreak
Football fans in Doncaster were reduced to tears as England suffered penalty shootout heartbreak in last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy.
Supporters wept and held their heads in their hands at bars and pubs across the town centre as Gareth Southgate’s side fell at the final and cruellest hurdle in Sunday night’s encounter at Wembley.
The town’s streets and pubs had earlier enjoyed a carnival atmosphere, with supporters of all ages decked out in red and white and sporting St George cross flags drinking and singing ahead of England’s first major final in 55 years.
But the mood changed as it came down to the dreaded spot kicks with the streets and bars rapidly emptying as heavy rain ensured a miserable end to the night for many.
Taxi firms were kept busy as dejected supporters wandered the streets in the downpours looking for a way home following the defeat.
Earlier, supporters had erupted in delight when Luke Shaw gave England the perfect start with a goal after just two minutes, but Leonardo Bonucci’s equaliser and then the familiar penalty shootout misery saw scenes of jubilation turn to tears of despair.
There were increased police patrols across Doncaster last night and it is understood there were a number of minor scuffles following the game in the town centre.
As well as packed pubs, thousands more gathered in front of their television sets at home to watch the drama unfold.
Silver Street, which has long been the focus of Doncaster’s celebrations during and after England games, saw hundreds of supporters in party mood before the game, with refrains of “it’s coming home” and Sweet Caroline blasting into the night sky.
Bars around the Market Place were also busy with many supporters beginning drinking at lunchtime as expectations of Three Lions’ glory rose.
Most venues were fully booked ahead of kick off, with coronavirus restrictions meaning limits on the number of supporters allowed inside some pubs.
Pubs were allowed to stay open longer to take into account the game going to extra time and penalties.
But there was to be no fairytale ending as Doncaster’s Italian community were the ones left celebrating.