It might not have been the result England fans were hoping for, but for East Lancashire’s Italian population, the Euro 2020 final was something they will remember for a long time.
With more than 700,000 Italians living and working in the country, East Lancashire boasts a fair amount of first, second, and third generation Italian people – from Darwen to Rishton, the number of Azzurri supporters rooting for their home team at Sunday night’s game was massive.
None were more lucky than Daniel Cavallo and his family though, as they travelled to Wembley Stadium to see Italy crowned Euro 2020 winners after defeating England in a penalty shootout.
Mr Cavallo from Rishton, who attended the game with his son, and members of two other Italian families from East Lancashire said: “We went down to Wembley on Saturday as a group. There were three England supporters and five Italy supporters.
“We had a bit of fun driving down on the motorway, with our Italy flags in the car – people honking at us etc.
“And to be honest we saw more people shouting for Italy than England!
“Although that wasn’t the case when we got to Wembley…but the atmosphere was great.”
Mr Cavallo said they had fun during the game and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere among the fans.
Videos taken by Mr Cavallo show how loud the chanting inside the stadium was after the final whistle, and he even managed to capture the Italian side lifting the Euro cup.
The families also stayed behind after the game to enjoy the celebrations, but made a quick exit when things outside the ground took a turn for the worse following England’s defeat.
He said: “We stayed behind a long time to enjoy, but also for safety, never seen so many hooligans out.
“We decided to drive home straight after that though as we didn’t feel safe staying in Watford.”
Despite the post-match tension, Mr Cavallo said the experience was one he’ll never forget, and even though he feels sorry for the England side, he is over the moon that his home nation’s team managed to lift the European Cup for a second time in the competition’s history.
He said: “It was the best time of our lives – my friend Dominic said and I would agree, what a journey, we have been to all three games at Wembley – versus Austria, Spain and England, I was also lucky enough to go to Hampden too for Sweden vs Ukraine.
“The three England supporters we were with had a great time too and felt safe in the Italian area.”