Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Instagram/@bethmead_
England’s lionesses secured a 2-1 victory against eight-time champions Germany on Sunday (31 July), finally bringing football home.
As well as the extra time win, Beth Mead was named the best player of the 2022 Euros as she was crowned the tournament’s top scorer, winning the Golden Boot award.
Mead, the 27-year-old Arsenal forward, is one of seven openly LGBTQ+ players on the England Women’s Euro squad including Jill Scott, Fran Kirby, Jess Carter, Demi Stokes, Bethany England, and Rachel Daly.
🏆 OUR ENGLAND. OUR CHAMPIONS. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/gf4BHUd5fW
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 31, 2022
The Euro final was played in front of a record-breaking crowd at Wembley Stadium with 87,192 in attendance made for the biggest crowd at a UEFA-organised international tournament.
The lionesses lifting the trophy on home soil marked the first time England has ever won the Euros and the first major tournament win since the 1966 men’s World Cup.
It was Chloe Kelly with a toe-poked shot that secured the win before she pulled off her shirt, waving it over her head to celebrate the momentous moment.
Mead may not have scored in the final, however, six goals throughout the tournament saw her win as the competition’s leading scorer.
She posted on Instagram, the morning after the win, a photo of her posing with not only the UEFA European Women’s Football Championship trophy but the Euro 2022 Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament award.
View this post on Instagram
“I can’t believe it,” Mead told BBC Sport. “Sometimes football puts you down, but bouncing back is the best way. I’m speechless, I can’t take it all in… I’m in shock.
She continued: ”I’ve had a good cry with my mum and dad. I am so proud of this team, I love this team and I love this country!”
Even The Queen seemingly watched the match and shared her proud patriotism for the winning team.
“Your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.
“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.”
🏴 🏆 The Queen has sent a message of congratulations to the @Lionesses:
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 31, 2022
“My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Championships,” a statement from the UK monarch said.
“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations,” the statement continued. “It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
There will be a victory celebration in front of fans at Trafalgar Square on Monday (1 August) between 11:00 and 14:00 which will also be broadcast live on BBC One.
The Attitude July/August issue is out now.