(Reuters) -A petition for a UK national holiday to be declared if England win Euro 2020 has reached 100,000 signatures, meaning it must be discussed in parliament.
Former England defender Gary Neville called for a national celebration after the nation reached a major final for the first time in 55 years with a 2-1 win over Denmark on Wednesday.
Former players and TV pundits were full of praise for Gareth Southgate’s side, who have the chance to add another trophy to England’s 1966 World Cup after beating the Danes in extra time.
“We have never done this before in our lifetimes,” Neville said on ITV. “We have had so much pain, so much dismay and so much let-down, and now we are going to a final.
“For the next few days those lads have got to focus, but we don’t have to. This country is absolutely bouncing. National holiday, enjoy yourselves.”
The petition, which was set up on Thursday, wants Monday, July 12 to be made a Bank Holiday and by 1400 BST (1300 GMT) it had attracted 110,000 signatures.
Former England striker Gary Lineker said England getting this far in a major tournament has “been a long time coming”.
“It’s finally happened. I was doubting I’d ever see it again in my lifetime at one point,” Lineker added.
Geoff Hurst, England’s hat-trick hero from the 1966 final, applauded the team’s “fantastic” result.
“Wow! We’re in the final. Brilliant game. Well done England. Fantastic,” Hurst tweeted, adding the hashtag ‘Football’s Coming Home’.
Former England midfielder Karen Carney described Southgate’s squad as “a family” after they celebrated the win in front of almost 60,000 fans at Wembley.
“They are absolutely all together in this moment. I have got goosebumps,” Carney said on the BBC.
England will face Italy in Sunday’s final.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ken Ferris)