So we arrived home just in time for the England football team to get into the Euro 2020 final (in 2021). The country had gone football crazy. England flags were on display everywhere (reclaiming it from the far right wing fascists) and looked fantastic. Really patriotic. It brought on a summery smile despite the chill in the air.
On 11th July, Shops were closing early to allow staff to get home to watch the match. Pub bookings were full. Everyone was asking each other where, and who with, they were going to watch the match. Schools emailed parents telling them they would be starting late in Monday to allow students to get some sleep after staying up to watch the match.
The first goal for England came within a couple of minutes and was the fastest goal scored in a Euro final. England then resorted to type with dull, defensive, possession football, until Italy scored the equaliser and then they perked up again, albeit too late to avoid extra rime and then the dreaded penalties. Talk about dragging out the agony! Yes, yet again, England lost on penalties. No surprise to anyone I think. The hopes of a nation dashed and the men’s team have to plough on without a trophy for longer than the 55 years they already have. The World Cup is next up in the big titles. Let’s hope they can break the chain of major trophy losses then.
The 134th Wimbledon was on the same day and the men’s final was in the afternoon before the England match. The 2021 Wimbledon Championships, Grand Slam tennis tournament, at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) successfully defended the Gentlemen’s Singles title as he claimed his 20th Grand Slam tournament title, defeating Matteo Berrettini (Italy) in the final. The no.1 seed N. Djokovic beat the no.7 seed M. Berrettini 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-3. The Ladies’ Singles title was won by no.1 seed Ashleigh Barty (Australia), who defeated no. 7 seed Karolína Plíšková (Czech) in the final 3-6, 7-6, 3-6.
Then a week later, on 18th July, there was the British Grand Prix F1 at Silverstone. Controversy from the start of the race as Hamilton took off his nearest rival Verstappen after contact on the undertake on a corner. Hamilton got a light penalty of 10 seconds, not even a stop go penalty. Thankfully Max Verstappen was ok and Hamilton went on to win the race, overtaking LeClerc with a couple of laps to go. Hamilton was now won the British Grand Prix 8 times and it was his 99th win (172 podium places) overall. If the football team can’t bring home the trophy then Hamilton certainly can!
It’s been a hectic emotional week in sport for the English and British fans, with some light relief of Wimbledon watching in between. I’ve really missed these events. They are very English/British events on the summer calendar. It’s a time for picnics and barbecues and beers outdoors enjoying the sunshine. A little bit of normality in the midst of a miserable pandemic. Something we all needed to lift the spirits a little.