One match. Can we do it? Do we now dare to imagine?
After 55 years of hurt, England is on the brink of making history.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has urged the nation to get behind the Three Lions on SundayCredit: The Sun
All those years of hopes tentatively raised, and then cruelly dashed. The penalties missed. The deafening cheers turned to silent tears.
In 90 nail-biting minutes, this squad can turn the page on this chapter and write a new one.
And the country will be proudly roaring them on.
Millions of us anxiously watching on TV screens at home or reunited with our friends in a pub garden.
But win or lose on Sunday night make no mistake – this squad of young men are already inspiring the next generation, as I heard from kids in North London this week.
After the worry and the misery of the Covid pandemic, this team has given the country something to cheer about again. To smile again.
I want the Euros to inspire our kids to take up sport – just like the London Olympics captured their imaginations a decade ago.
And having been inspired, the Kanes and Sterlings of the future deserve to have decent pitches and proper facilities to have a kickabout with their mates and hone their skills.
Ahead of our UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup we have announced £25 million to build 700 new pitches all over the country.
Our aim is to make sure no child is more than 15 minutes away from a decent pitch.
This is our pledge to the Euro 2020 generation. We will build the pitches to keep your legacy alive.
But for now, let’s enjoy this special weekend.
These moments of national magic are rare. And to have it on home soil makes it all the more special.
Come on England!
Oliver Dowden is the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
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