Football fans, famous names, and more have been reacting to England’s “inspirational” win in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 final last week.
People have been taking to social media in their thousands to shower the Lionesses with deserved praise and support after they not only clinched the coveted title of 2022 European Champions by beating Germany 2-1 in a thrilling final match at Wembley Stadium yesterday – but also truly inspired the nation in the process.
In front of a roaring sold-out stadium packed full of excited fans, England scored the match’s first goal, with Tyldesley-born Manchester United forward Ella Toone smashing it into the back of the net in the 62nd minute, but hopes were dashed slightly when Germany equalised shortly after.
With the score 1-1 at the full 90-minutes, the match was taken to extra time.
The winning goal didn’t come straight away, but with the prospect of a penalties looming, the ball was at the feet of Manchester City star Chloe Kelly – who scored in the 110th minute to bring home the title.
The win is the country’s first international silverware since 1966.
Bringing home the title was the icing on the cake to what had been an impressive run of victories and goals by the Lionesses throughout European football’s flagship tournament, and has cemented its stars as household names throughout the country.
Many have already called England’s victory more than just a sporting achievement.
Some have branded it a “seismic moment” in this country’s history, and others have said the impact of the win is too great to truly quantify at this time.
Rafts of football fans, famous names, and people previously not-interested in women’s football alike have all taken to social media last night and this morning following the win to share their reactions and thoughts, and ultimately pay congratulations to the Lionesses.
Queen Elizabeth II, and the Duke of Cambridge Prince William were among the famous names to lead the congratulations to the team.
“The championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise,” The Queen said.
“However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
Prince William – who is president of the FA, and watched the match live at Wembley yesterday – described the match as “sensational”, and said “the whole nation couldn’t be prouder of you all”.
Several of England’s national men’s team also took to both Twitter and Instagram to share their messages of support and congratulate the Lionesses, as well as a few of them being present at Wembley to watch the win live.
England captain Harry Kane, as well as Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, and Phil Foden were just a few of the players to publicly show support.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire said on Twitter: “Huge congratulations to the Lionesses. Brilliant game. History made. The whole country is proud of you. Enjoy the celebrations.”
“Unbelievable achievement from the Lionesses. An inspiration to everyone in the country,” Manchester City’s newest recruit and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips said on Twitter.
Former City winger Raheem Sterling also called the Lionesses “history-makers” on Twitter.
Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, and a handful of English football’s other most-famous names in recent years have also heaped praise on the Lionesses after the win.
Former England and Arsenal defender Alex Scott struggled to speak as the players celebrated their win on the Wembley pitch, explaining: “This is a dream, an absolute dream for every young girl that dreamt of playing football.
“Every single player has played a part. Nikita Parris, who came on at the end, came on to do a job for the team and the way teams play as a whole determines its success.”
Away from football, countless celebrities and well-known names have congratulated the Lionesses on their title, with some of the most prominent and heartfelt messages of support coming from iconic 90s girlband Spice Girls, singer Adele, Dame Joan Collins, and comedian Miranda Hart.
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood also said that the Lionesses had “made us all so proud” as he congratulated them.
“What an incredible result – Thank you forever!” he added.
Adele described the achievement as a “game changer, and shared a photo of the Lionesses celebrating their win on Instagram, writing: “You did it – It’s come home.”
Unexpected Manchester city centre street named ‘one of the most polluted’ in the UK
A new fieldwork study has revealed the worst air polluted city centre streets in the UK, and a popular Manchester thoroughfare has been named one of the worst.
Except, it’s really not the street you’d expect it to be.
For some bizarre reason, despite the fact it’s a pedestrianised commercial shopping street in the heart of Manchester city centre, Market Street has been named one of the most polluted streets in the country.
Recordings were taken at high streets in the 25 largest towns and cities in the country over a two-week period, and the results found that 76% are exceeding the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended annual level of air pollution, The Hoot reports.
The study enlisted a planning consultancy to collect samples using an air quality monitoring device at 11am on either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to ensure as much comparability as possible between the locations.
The study comes after a poll of 2,000 adults found that 36% have concerns over the health of the community due to air pollution, or the health of their family (26%) or themselves (25%).
Speaking on the shocking findings from the new study, Sam Clarke, who is the chief vehicle officer at the sustainable energy business, said: “With millions set to hit the high street this festive period, we wanted to look at the state of the nation’s air quality in the locations people will be doing most of their Christmas shopping.
“It’s shocking to see that so many were above the World Health Organisation’s annual recommendations for air pollution, and that one in 10 shoppers are even planning on foregoing the highstreets altogether due to air quality.”
20 streets in the UK were over the recommended World Health Organisation recommended levels of 5 µg/m3).
The Most-Polluted Streets in the UK
Stoke-On-Trent (Parliament Street) – 11.7
Newcastle (Northumberland Street) – 11.5
Leicester (Gallowtree Gate) – 11.2
Coventry (West Orchards Way) – 11.1
Hull (Jameston Street) – 10.7
Bradford (Broadway) – 10.6
Southampton (Above Bar Street) – 8.8
Nottingham (High Street) – 7.7
Luton (George Street) – 7.6
Manchester (Market Street) – 7.6
Northampton (Abington Street) – 7.3
Birmingham New Street – 7.3
Liverpool (Church Street) – 7.1
Derby (St Peter’s Street) – 6.9
London (Oxford Street) – 6.8
Sheffield (Fargate) – 6.3
Brighton (Western Road) – 5.6
Leeds (Briggate) – 5.3
Portsmouth (Commercial Road) – 5.1
“If we’re to reach the World Health Organisation’s annual target of 5 µg/m3 of PM2.5 in our air, collectively we need to change our behaviours,” Sam Clarke added.
“With vehicle emissions being a key contributor, anything we can do to travel more greenly, from walking more to cycling, and including electric vehicles, is a very valuable set forward to improve the air we breathe daily.”
Although born in London to Irish parents, she moved to Manchester at the age of two, was raised in Wythenshawe, went to school in West Didsbury, and kick-started her illustrious and hugely-influential career on the city’s comedy circuit by performing as a collection of characters, all before developing the iconic ‘Mrs Merton’.
Aherne developed her Mrs Merton character with Frank Sidebottom for his show on Piccadilly Radio, where she worked as a receptionist.
She made a number of television appearances as the hilarious character, before rising to prominence in 1994 with the mock chat show The Mrs Merton Show, where she was known for asking celebrity guests a series of outrageous fake questions – the most-memorable example being to the wife of magician Paul Daniels, Debbie McGee, asking: “So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”.
Aside from the Mrs Merton character, Aherne was known for appearing on BBC comedy sketch programme, The Fast Show, and then cemented her place in the heart of us Mancunians when she co-wrote and starred as Denise in beloved Manchester-based sitcom, The Royle Family.
The Royle Family ran for three series from 1998 to 2000, and was a largely stereotypical portrayal of working-class family life at the turn of the millennium, with almost all of the episodes taking place in the Royles’ telly-centric living room and showing the hilarious conversations they’d have.
Both before and after her sad death in July 2016, Caroline amassed a loyal fanbase, so it’s only right that we properly celebrate her legacy, right? Well that’s exactly what BBC Two is doing this ChristmasDay from 9pm, with the airing of a brand-new TV special, as well as lots of other programmes dedicated to the late legend and all she is loved for.
The 80-minute documentary is described by the BBC as being a “celebration of the unique life and talent of Caroline Aherne”.
Titled Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy, it will feature unseen photographs and contributions from a cast of her lifelong friends – including Steve Coogan, Jon Thompson, Craig Cash, and producer Andy Harries.
Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy will air on BBC Two at 10:25pm on Christmas Day (25 December), and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer shortly after.
This new TV special also follows BBC Two’s re-run of The Royle Family’s classic Christmas episode – which is titled ‘Christmas With The Royle Family’, and first aired back in December 1999 – a little earlier in the evening at 9:15pm.
It’ll also be on after a 15-minute long moment of reflection from Ricky Tomlinson at 9pm too.
According to the BBC, Ricky – who, of course, is most famous for his role as the Royle Family’s patriarch, Jim Royle – will sit back in his iconic chair and take a fond look back at the much-loved comedy series, sharing his memories and experiences working with Caroline Aherne.