It’s easy to forget that good things can happen when people unite in their love of the game.
Because our feeds are in need of a little positivity right now, we thought we’d turn the discourse on its head and look at all the times this year’s Euro Championship’s brought out the good in football fans across Europe.
Here’s our roundup of the 7 fan moments we hope will make the history books:
1. Denmark & Finland fans chant Christian Eriksen’s name
After the Danish midfielder collapsed during the Group B match on June 12th, the opposing Finnish and Danish sides of the Parken Stadium engaged in a call and response song – chanting his first and last name in a touching moment to wish him well as he was taken to hospital.
2. Scotland fans clean up litter in central London
In an unexpected move from Scottish football fans descending on London to watch the England v Scotland match, kilt-wearing supporters gathered rubbish bags and litter-pickers to help clear the city’s streets ahead of the event.
3. England fan gave up his ticket to the semi-final to donate stem cells
Sam Astley was deemed a ‘hero’ when he opted to watch the match from his hospital bed instead of attending in person – and rightly so. He said missing his chance to donate stem cells after getting the call up was ‘not an option’. Luckily, he was gifted tickets to the Wembley final by Vivo Europe when they got wind of the story.
4. Netherlands supporter congratulates Ukraine fans on Yarmolenko’s goal in the stands
In a move that epitomised how football should be, a classy Holland fan offered a congratulatory handshake and hug to his rival Ukraine supporters after Yarmolenko’s belter of a goal in their June 13th match.
5. Fans notice optimistic progress of LGBT+ attitudes
Although there’s still a long way to go, the players of this year’s Euros have shown a different side of football altogether. With Neuer & Wijnaldum rocking a rainbow armband, and Jordan Henderson speaking out in support of football being ‘for everyone’ – progress is bumpy, but unstoppable.
6. Italy fans celebrate a ‘new beginning’ for their country
After finding themselves at the centre of the first major COVID outbreak in the West, Italy’s year of long lockdowns and immeasurable suffering is finally turning around – with Matteo Berrettini becoming the first Italian to compete in the men’s singles at Wimbledon, and their young team grabbing the UEFA title – fans celebrated a win that symbolised so much more.
7. Mancunians spread the love with patched-up Marcus mural
To the most hated guy in England who defaced a mural of Marcus Rashford in Withington, South Manchester, we say: there’s always more good in the world than bad. Local people rallied around to cover the graffiti with messages of love and support, showing this year’s team the difference they’ve already made in the hearts of the fans everywhere.