How a Harrogate tailor helped England boss Gareth Southgate inspire 'Waistcoat Wednesday'

Dele Alli rides a tackle from Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

Dele Alli rides a tackle from Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

"They've got a good side, they've improved over the years, but I look at England at the moment and think we've got a fantastic side".

Such is the interest in England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 that the system crashed when London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced 30,000 free tickets would be made available to watch the game in Hyde Park via a ballot.

"Gareth's sideline style has meant our waistcoats are really scoring with our customers, with sales doubling since the World Cup began", said a spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer.

England will also be keen to avoid further penalty drama as they face a side who have won both of their knockout matches, against Denmark and then hosts Russian Federation, via shootouts. England went to extra time and penalties in its first knockout stage match but not in its second and should be a bit more fresh.

George Lee, 59, from Hull, also backed Southgate's young team to get to the final, predicting a 2-1 win. England has been craving a top title since it won the World Cup in 1966 and has a tremendous, unforseen opportunity ahead, with the weight of its country on its shoulders. "It's been an enjoyable journey, and we want to keep it going".

"We keep looking to break the barriers down". We have had the chance to make a difference.

"Our supporters and our country has had a long time suffering in terms of football".


"They are proud to wear the shirt".

"You can feel the encouragement and support".

Those three words, from the anthem Three Lions (Football's Coming Home) by Baddiel and Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, have become the mantra of England.

Retailer M&S is the official tailor to the England team at this year's tournament, where online searches for the garment are up more than 100%.

The song was released before Euro '96, when Southgate missed England's crucial penalty as they lost a semi-final shootout to Germany at Wembley.

Speaking to Sky News, the ex-footballer said: "Football's coming home, I couldn't listen to it for 20 years, frankly".

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