England fans have descended on London in their thousands as they got the party started early ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
There was a carnival feel around the capital as supporters met in huge numbers at major locations, including Leicester Square, Wembley Way and Liverpool Street station.
The England faithful began arriving at Wembley and other venues across the capital hours before the eagerly anticipated 8pm kick-off at the Home of Football – LIVE on talkSPORT – which will host 60,000 fans on Sunday night.
There were stunning and quite boisterous scenes all over London with beer in full flow, flares lit and the England-supporting masses in full voice by midday.
Police had warned England fans up and down the country not to get too carried away with the occasion, with the Three Lions set to battle for their first major tournament win since the 1966 World Cup.
But it appeared those warnings were largely ignored in some areas of the capital as fans brought a number of locations to a halt due to the sheer volume of people.
Leicester Square saw hoards of flag, banner and flare-bearing supporters gather in support of Gareth Southgate’s men, while fans entering the capital at Liverpool Street communed outside the station to belt out ‘It’s Coming Home’ and other England anthems.
The talkSPORT team were live from BoxPark at Wembley on Sunday morning, and revealed they had already seen fans climbing trees, traffic lights and even on top of buses – and this was before 3pm.
There were also incredible reports that pubs in London had queues formed outside their doors from 5am on Sunday morning, in scenes that are more akin to theme parks, concerts and the famous queue at Wimbledon than the local boozer.
The British Beer and Pub Association estimated ahead of final day that nearly 13 million pints could be bought across Sunday, as England fever sweeps the nation.
It estimated 7.1 million of those would be sold within the course of the 90 minute game itself if it ends within normal time – equating to almost 1,000 pints a second.
The Home Office confirmed on Friday that pubs can continue to serve until 11.15pm on Sunday to reduce the risk of customers being told to leave before the match ends.
Fans are travelling to London to soak in the atmosphere with the final held at Wembley Stadium, but there were more boisterous scenes across some of England’s other biggest cities after England’s last game on Wednesday night, as supporters celebrated their semi-final victory over Denmark long into the night.
And police urged for people to respect coronavirus restrictions across the country ahead of a momentous day for English sport.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “I think the big challenge has been large numbers of people gathering in breach of COVID regulations.
“On occasion behaviour going a little bit beyond what would be reasonable.
“Wednesday was busy, lots of people around, lots of excitement, we fully anticipate Sunday to be even busier.”