FOOTBALL fans commiserated last night as England lost in the Euro 2020 final against Italy in a tense penalty shootout.

Around 350 people packed into Barton’s Mill, Old Basing, to watch the crucial match, which saw England reach the final of a major football tournament for the first time in 55 years.

There was anticipation, excitement and hope at the start of the game, as families and friends gathered to cheer on The Three Lions.

James Bringer was with a group of friends and said: “The atmosphere is insane.”

Emma O’Brien brought along her five-month-old sausage dog, who was wearing an England flag around his neck.

The 28-year-old said: “I’m not really a football supporter I just thought I can’t sit on my own.”

Aptly named Carys England, 23, was enjoying the night with her friends and said: “I’m so excited it’s coming home and to be here with all my girls and boys it is the best day of 2021.”

Adrienne Hutton, 48, was sat outside at Barton’s Mill under one of its giant canopies which are lit with twinkling fairy lights.

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She said: “Everyone has been caught up in it whether you are a football fan or not.”

Sally Francis brought along her dog Barney, a Chihuahua/Yorkie cross.

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She said: “The atmosphere is electric. Barney’s our lucky mascot so he had to be here.”

The football fans were relentless in their support for England as they sang songs and chants throughout the night.

The crowd erupted when England scored the first goal within minutes of the game starting.

But the atmosphere became tense after Italy scored a goal in the second half.

With the nail-biting game ending with a penalty shootout, the crowd at Barton’s Mill ramped up their support for England.

There was joy and elation when England scored or Italy missed as fans kept up their hope to the very end.

But the 55-year wait to win a major trophy was crushed in the heart-breaking finish as they lost 3-2 on penalties against Italy at Wembley.

There was shock and disappointment as fans allowed the defeat to settle, with some commiserating each other while others quietly left.

However, a small minority let their disappointment escalate to anger as they began throwing drinks.

Staff at Barton’s Mill were quick to handle the situation, evicting those causing trouble promptly and clearing up the smashed glass they had left behind.

Steven Ford, deputy manager, said the night was a huge boost for the pub.

Staff had a busy 24-hours, with a wedding the day before. He told the Gazette: “It’s a great atmosphere and we are trying to keep everyone Covid safe. The staff love being here quite a few volunteered to work.

“The football has helped us out massively having all these people here.”

Despite the disappointment, most fans left feeling proud of the England football team.

Simon Brown, 45, said: “I have never been to an England final in my lifetime. They did really well and they are a young team so who knows for the next world cup.”