Fans across England have hailed Gareth Southgate and his players for a stirring World Cup journey, after their heartbreaking semi-final defeat.

Supporters thanked the side for “making us proud” during the run to the last four of the competition.

Hopes of a first final since 1966 were dashed on Wednesday after England slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Croatia.

However, fans said the side had “finished further than anyone dreamed”.

England beaten by Croatia in semi-final

‘You gave us something to believe in’

‘The difference was, everyone was happy’

Grant Davidson said they had “brought the country together” during the run to the semi-finals, the first time England had reached the last four since losing to West Germany in 1990.

Thousands of fans gathered at major outdoor screenings for the knockout games as World Cup fever gripped the nation.

Despite Kieran Trippier giving England an early lead, Croatia clawed their way back into the game and edged past Southgate’s side after extra time.

In the aftermath of the defeat, supporters have moved to thank the team for restoring pride.

Stephen Fry was among those to take to Twitter after the match, and his message reflected the thoughts of many.

Three Lions had been the soundtrack to the summer, with supporters optimistically rejoicing in the chorus of “It’s Coming Home”.

Comedian David Baddiel, who recorded the track alongside Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, also chipped in.

Former players and staff have also posted a series of positive messages after England’s run came to an end.

Scenes after the game were, perhaps unsurprisingly, more subdued than after the quarter-final win against Sweden.

However, one fan in Shoreditch, east London, was seen climbing a lamppost, while Avon and Somerset Constabulary said it had arrested a man for assaulting an officer and punching a police horse.

 

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