A Podcast from Womberly Stadium. The winners’ ceremony and beyond

An account of the final moments of triumph for the England football team in the 2022 Euros championships, and the media reactions, assessed as examples of everyday creativity

Yes! The lionesses only went and done it! We done it!! And without crowd violence or pitch invasion. A pushy interviewer left gasping, as Chloe Kelly, who came on as super-sub, dropped the mike saying ‘I jus want to celebrate with my team mates and sing Sweet Caroline’ and she did.

Slightly clunky awards ceremony. Not the climb to the heights of Womberly Stadium to be greeted by Football and English Royalty, but a rather hurried gathering on the scuffed pitch for the victors. To be received by the chief of English football, the Duke of Cambridge. And to receive a Crystal glass trophy not unlike the artistic creations earned by winners of grand slams in tennis and majors in golf. Is it a horse, a dolphin with a ball in its jaws? No, It’s a glass football.
Cut to shots of sorrowing German players. Empathy muted by recollection that they have won the tournament eight times already. Post-mortem discussion in the BBC match studio takes a bitter turn, as pundits reel out the injustices holding back the women’s game, including the media’s collusive guilt.
Meanwhile on the pitch, the interviewer, having retrieved the mike, has another interview hijacked by uninhibited players dragging the interviewee back to what looks like a rave kicking off.

Ten minutes earlier:
Five minutes of extra time left. Anyone’s game. Winner still in doubt. Then an England corner. The ball ricochets around and is scuffed into the German net. Five minutes of joy dissolving in anxious doubt. Then the final whistle. Collection roar of relief.
Late night main headlines are devoid of other news. Perhaps wisely, politicians did not intrude on the celebrations. A year ago, the mens team lost a disappointing final marred by crowd violence.
But today has been hailed as a milestone for women’s football, with the largest crowd, and record viewing figures. And the first major international trophy since that unique World Cup victory over sixty years ago.

Monday August 1st
The celebrations must have been up there with that of the famous World Cup win. Like most people alive today, I can’t remember them. Even those of us who were around then remember what they were doing. I was in a Hungarian bar in Upper East Side Manhattan which was showing the match on a small scale television to a small scale audience of mostly disinterested Hungarians and Germans.
Today the celebrations as much as the match dominate the news outlets.
Most papers have pull-out supplements to keep, and front and back pages exclusively on the football:

The Express: It’s Home!
The i: Champions!
The Times: Lionesses bring it home.
The Guardian: Game changers.
The Sun: Move over fellers: IT’S HOME!
The Mail: It wasn’t a dream. We DID beat Germany in a final
The Star England 2 Germany 1. ROARSOME

Emotion ratings
Simple joyfulness
Nostalgic pleasure
Nostalgic pleasure beating Germany
Lioness shirtless celebration (Special category for the picture in The Mail)

One small step towards removal of male prejudices in football and beyond. One step towards a media frenzy over a highly hyped match between a men’s team and a women’s team justified under the twin banners of emancipation and ginormous money making. But, probably not in Saudi Arabia.

Faint refrain: It’s coming home…it’s coming home it’s…