Express & Star

We’ll party like it’s 1966... hopefully!

England’s Lionesses are on course to become lifelong legends.

Thousands of England fans pack the streets outside the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, where the victorious England players were attending a reception and Football Association banquet, in the hope of seeing the World Cup winning heroes

We’ve done it. We’ve only gone and flippin’ done it. And by Sunday afternoon, we’re either going to be experiencing the mother of all comedowns, or we’re going to be partying like it’s 1966.

But, if it's defeat, worry not – at least we beat the Aussies in their own back yard.

The Women’s National Football Team – aka, The Lionesses – have already inspired a nation.

England team celebrate with the trophy in front of the photographers after winning the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London.

This is the UK’s biggest sporting event since we smashed it with six golds at Super Saturday at the London 2012 Olympics.

It gives us the opportunity to do what Ben Stokes and co did when England won the Cricket World Cup by beating New Zealand in the most dramatic super over that the game has ever known.

It presents the chance to emulate the remarkable feats of Jonny Wilkinson and his 28-seconds-to-go drop goal victory to win the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final against the Aussies.

And it gives The Lionesses an opportunity to become lifelong legends, in much the same way that Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, and Martin Peters did when they lifted the Football World Cup in 1966.

Bobby Charlton Snr, father of England's World Cup-winning Bobby and Jack, raises his glass in a toast as he dines with the girlfriends and wives of the England team at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington. The players had their own celebratory banquet, thrown by the FA, in another wing of the hotel

Don’t go anywhere

Our glitzy panel of sports writers have run the rule over the relative merits of Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp, and Alessia Russo, while our news hounds are hopefully telling you where to get the Doritos from if you want to avoid a queue – because football ain’t football without a party-sized packet of snacks.

So our job is to get the party started – in much the same way that pipe-smoking men and apron-wearing women did when England lifted the Jules Rimet trophy 57 years ago.

The first question is this... What to wear?

It might be a good idea not to wear too much red and gold, which are the national colours of Spain, or, indeed offer your football-party guests a fabulous selection of tapas. If there’s one time when we can all safely nail our colours to the mast, it’s tomorrow. So don’t wear clothing that’s red, gold, dark blue, or black – but do wear stuff that is entirely white with a big, massive, red cross painted over the front – and, yes, go the whole hog and make sure your face is also painted with dinky flags.

Next: What to eat?

There are two choices and two choices alone. You either place an order at the chippie half an hour before kick-off, with fish’n’chips all round, or you go all-in and do roast beef and Yokrshire puds, to eat at half-time. Truthfully, fish’n’chips is the better option. It’ll all kick off if we go one-nil down and nobody wants to eat your silverside. And, worse still, if there’s extra time, the beef will turn to shoe leather while it cooks in the oven. If you can’t be doing with fish’n’chips, go for that other football-themed staple – Walker’s Crisps, as advertised by a certain footballing world cup player of yesteryear.

The final conundrum is this. What to do if we win. And what to do if we lose.

Well, here’s the thing. We’re not going to lose. So don’t worry about the last part of the question. Do worry about the first. Think ahead. You’re not going to be able to call your boss on Monday morning to pretend you’ve got a sudden cold. A) It’s summer, and, B) She or he will know you’re hungover. So send a message this afternoon, in advance, saying you’ve got a dodgy stomach. That will throw him or her off the scent and you can relax as we achieve a 2-1 win over the Spaniards.

The other thing to be mindful of, of course, is this: social media.

It’s probably not a good idea to put your drunken video up on Elon Musk’s platform, Insta, Facebook, or any of the other places that you – or your friends – might be tempted to post a funny video of you face-planting a trifle after Toone scores the winning goal. So think ahead, put your phone in a safe place – away from harm’s reach, when in drink, but somewhere that you can find it later – then sit back, crack open the fizz, gorge on the snacks and watch The Lionesses became the nation’s newest and favourite sporting stars.