VIDEO: 'Gutted' but fans in Skegness still dare to dream after Euro 2020 final

There were no losers in Skegness when fans turned out to watch the Euro 2020 final.

Families looking splendid dressed in red and white were in town early to grab their seats at pubs and bars, determined to enjoy every minute of the England- Italy match.

The game was screened just hours after Matteo Berrettini played Hurkacz, becoming the first Italian in a Wimbledon final.

Berrettini lost to Novak Djokovic but the Skegness Italian community were hoping they would have better luck in the Euro 2020 final - and they were not disappointed with the final score of 3-2 to Italy in penalties.

Tarantino's Italian restaurant in Drummond Road, closed early so staff could watch the match, with some of them also going to local pubs.

But it took the youngest members of the community to hold onto hope after England's defeat.

Swifts Junior Football Club, whose membership has risen since the tournament began, posted: "Well done England!

"We are gutted that we didn't win. However, the excitement and togetherness this England team has given to us all after such an awful year has been incredible, and is something that our members will never forget.

Fans at the New Park Club in Skegness.
Fans at the New Park Club in Skegness.

"Onto the World Cup."

England's performance throughout the tournament has been celebrated locally - and on Sunday it was no different.

Gemma MacDonald, manager at the Lumley Bar and Restaurant, said it had been "brilliant".

"It been fabulous watching families watching the game and meeting with friends. Really good."

Heidi Farrell, owner of Churchills Wine and Sports Bar, agreed. She said: "It's been so wonderful seeing everyone coming back watching the football - the fantastic football that we have seen England play. Each match has been a drama and we've survived all these dramas. And now we are at the finals - we are so excited."

Paul Dixon, owner of the New Park Club and chairman of the Skegness Area Business Chamber, said the tournament had been just what a town recovering from the impact of the pandemic needed.

Mr Dixon said the games had brought exciting times for local businesses, but had a word of caution as Freedom Day on July 19 looms.

"We are not out of the woods yet," he said. "We are still waiting for the all-clear next week, but people are still nervous about it.

"The football has uplifted people - it's been fantastic."

Earlier in the evening, emergency services were urging fans to enjoy the match safely.

Lincs Fire and Rescue Control White Watch tweeted: "Enjoy the England game safely tonight. Remember don't get distracted and leave any cooking unattended."

Coast Insp Colin Haigh, who was on duty in Skegness, appealed to fans to behave themselves - and urged them not to reveal the score to him.

He tweeted: "I’m not watching the match because I’m working in #Skegness tonight. You can ease my disappointment by: * drinking responsibly * staying safe * being respectful * behaving yourself And don’t tell me the score, I’m taping it."

Later he told the Standard there were a few arrests around the county for various offences, but the majority of people had behaved themselves. He said: “I would like to thank the majority of people who were well-behaved and a small minority were arrested, mainly for drink related offences”

*For full story and pictures see Wednesday's edition of the Skegness Standard newspaper.