hree football fan zones in London have sold out in just eight minutes ahead of the Lionesses’ first World Cup final.
A fan zone at Boxpark Croydon turned into an impromptu dance floor on Wednesday as the Lionesses confirmed their place in the final, knocking out the host nation.
The only person who seemed to be sitting down when the final whistle was heard at the south London venue was a lone Australian at the front of the zone.
Lionesses fans put children on their shoulders, danced on tables and sang football hits following the historic victory.
Alison Symonds-Tayler, 65, watched England make the final at Boxpark Croydon.
Draped in a Union flag and wearing a matching bow, the south Londoner said: “We deserved to win. I think we dominated throughout the match and it was very exciting.
“I just think the girls did really well. Both teams did really well. There was a fantastic atmosphere. Boxpark did a great job.
“I feel sorry for the Matildas because I have Australian family but I think the best team won today. I think it’s great to have women’s sport get the credit it deserves.”
A young England fan who also watched the game at Boxpark Croydon said it would be “amazing for all upcoming footballers” if the Lionesses win the World Cup.
Emily Bowen, 15, who had painted a St George’s flag on her face using red glitter, told PA: “I was actually ecstatic when the full-time whistle went. The click of reality, we’re through to a World Cup final.
“After Australia equalised it was a bit nervy they were going to come back but (the Lionesses) stayed strong… I’m buzzing.
“We went out to France for the 2019 World Cup and then all of the Euros games last year we were at. I try to follow them everywhere and anywhere.”
When asked how she will react if England win the World Cup, the Kent resident added: “I honestly don’t know. Just seeing the growth from when they won the Euros, to see that carry on, if they win the World Cup it would be amazing for all upcoming footballers, inspiring all the younger girls.”
Dani Beazley, 51, vowed to return to Boxpark Croydon to watch England hopefully win the World Cup this weekend.
Ms Beazley, from Battersea in south-west London, said: “I will definitely be back on Sunday. I’m with my daughter and my sister. The reaction in the whole place is unbelievable. The place erupted. It was just brilliant.
“It is a brilliant atmosphere. (The music) goes on for an hour later and everyone is still enjoying themselves and having a lovely time. We are going to stick around for a while.
“It’s a great atmosphere and Sunday will just be amazing. It will be double this. I reckon England 2-0. Fingers crossed.”