'Beers, tears and flares': How the Euro 2020 final unfolded at Waveney pub
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
There was an air of sadness and frustration as penalties proved to be the scourge of England once again.
After 55 years of hurt, there was a real sense of deja vu and further heartbreak for England as Italy triumphed in the Euro 2020 final.
An already amazing atmosphere in the Ole Frank pub in Oulton, Lowestoft, erupted after three minutes when Luke Shaw gave England the lead.
With red and blue flares released outside, the beer was flying in the air in celebration from numerous fans.
Capacity crowds had filled the inside and outdoor marquee areas of the pub with fans in fine voice throughout.
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There were cries throughout the opening 20 minutes that "they are rattled" and that was the time for England to press home their advantage.
'Oh when the whites, go marching in' echoed out around the pub as Gareth Southgate's men took firm control of the final.
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Every tackle was met with a cheer, every shot with a roar, as the crowd willed England on.
At half time one fan said: "This is our year."
Another added: "My heart has gone."
But slowly as England dropped deeper and deeper, and Mancini made attacking changes for Italy, there was an air of inevitability as Bonucci equalised from a set piece in the 67th minute.
A nail biting last 25 minutes, extended to extra time, as the nerves kicked in.
And a tense penalty shoot out led to further devastation for the deflated England side, as Italy triumphed.
History was not made on the night, with fervent fans feeling the harsh reality of further penalty frustration.
Aaron Denning, 39, of Lowestoft, said: "This is what I have had to put up with all my life, so let's hope it changes soon.
"We are our own worst enemies, the game was there for the taking."
There was particular frustrations around the England substitutions with Rashford and Sancho taking penalties without barely having a touch of the ball - with the experienced Italians not allowing England to make a substitution at crucial times.
Andy Lloyd, 39, of Carlton Colville, said: "I don't understand how Jorginho was still on pitch, but we invited all the pressure."
Charlie Frosdick, 45, of Oulton, said: "It was like a different team to the first half."
Pub owner Glen High said: "Win or lose, we have always managed to tell everyone before the end of the games - and prior to penalties tonight - thanking everyone for their support.
"They have been magnificent, no hassle, they have been awesome."
Manager Ritchi High added: "It is disappointing but we have the World Cup next year, and we are looking forward to that.
"I would like to say it has been a tough time for us, really stressful as we deal with lots of restrictions, having to try your best in climate we are in.
"This has picked us up, with England doing so well, but the hardest thing has been the table service - it has been tough - but I think we have done alright and it has been nice to have so many people come up to us and thank us."