“It just hasn’t sunk in, we’re incredibly excited” - FC Halifax Town fan Anthony can’t wait to watch England’s Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley

An FC Halifax Town fan will be one of the lucky crowd at Wembley for one of the biggest English sporting occasions in history on Sunday when England face Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 2:09 pm

Anthony Cope, from Keighley, has supported Halifax since he was five-years-old and is a season ticket holder at The Shay.

The 41-year-old, who works for a bank, has been to every England game in the tournament so far, and will be cheering on Gareth Southgate’s team on Sunday in person.

“It just hasn’t sunk in, we’re incredibly excited, we feel quite fortunate, but we’ve put in the hard yards so we feel we kind of deserve it, we’ve been following England for 15 years home and away,” he said..

“It feels like a bit of a reward for all those high moments and disappointments. We feel incredibly excited and so looking forward to it.

“We’re going down the day before because we won’t know what to do with ourselves otherwise!

“We’d already booked hotels and stuff with free cancellation, but we’re all sorted and we’re just watching the clock now.

“There’s four of us - my eldest son and couple of lads who I’ve always travelled with to England games, who are Bradford City fans.

“Because we’re in the travel club, you get given a set allocation We were quite fortunate for the first few games because it was a ballot because of the reduced capacity.

“But once it got up to a higher capacity, because of the number of ‘caps’ we’ve got we were more or less guaranteed from there on, and then once it got 75 per cent capacity we were always confident we’d at least get a shot of the tickets.

“We were so happy when we got the email through to say we’d got them.”

England beat Denmark 2-1 after extra time at Wembley on Wednesday to book their place in the final.

“I struggle to put it into words, it was just awesome and unbelievable,” said Anthony..

“After the game we didn’t speak to each other for about half-an-hour, we were in shock!

“It just doesn’t happen to England does it. Unbelievable, so emotionally-charged, so much tension, and after the game when we got back to the hotel, we were just knackered.

“We didn’t even have the energy to celebrate, we were emotionally exhausted.

“The atmosphere for the last two games has been unbelievable, I’ve not experienced anything like it before.

“I think it will be special again against the Italians, I’m sure they’ll bring a bit to the party in terms of the noise.

“I think we’ll win but I’ve got more nervous as each round’s gone on, whereas you should be getting more confident shouldn’t you!

“I’m thinking a 2-1 England win, I think it’ll be very cagey, we know the Italians are strong defensively.

“I think they’ll be worried about us getting in-behind them because of our pace, so they might sit back a bit, but I’m confident, I think we’ll get the result but it won’t be easy, it won’t be 2-0, comfortable, and they get a consolation goal in the 91st minute, it’ll be nervy.”