Sheffield Wednesday superfan Tango gutted to miss Ukraine clash after ‘euphoric’ England win
“The atmosphere last night was euphoric. I don’t think I’ve seen an atmosphere like that in Wembley in a long time.”
Such is the first-hand account of Sheffield Wednesday’s own superfan Tango, who was one of thousands of 40,000 supporters who got to bask in England’s victory yesterday.
The Owls devotee, whose real name is Paul Gregory, has been a constant presence at all of the Three Lions’ matches so far – but if anyone was in doubt, he says last night’s win was like no other.
"It was just pure euphoria,” said Paul, who has caught the international spotlight for appearing topless at games whatever the weather. “When Kane scored the place just erupted. I’ve been following so many years but that will go down as one of the best moments in England’s history.
"We’ve waited a long time for that moment and it was just pure joy.
"At the pubs and on the trains home after the celebrations were fantastic. We met up with Portsmouth fans and Villa fans and loads of others. Everybody, everywhere you went the buzz about was phenomenal.
"It just hits back at some of the negativity I heard before. A lot of people said we were never going to beat Germany."
Much praise has been laid on today for the match’s sharpest players. Jack Grealish’s appearance was met with a roar from fans and he went on to be a linchpin in both of England’s goals, taken by Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
"I have to say I watched Jack Grealish at club level and I wasn’t impressed with him,” said Paul. “And I have had to eat humble pie to be honest. He’s really come through.
"The younger players are coming through now and the nation is getting behind them. It’s phenomenal.
"It feels good because I was there in Russia for the 2016 draw when we were so close. But now it looks like we’re going to get that chance again.”
Paul said it was “a shame” he and so many others will have to break his record and miss the quarter-finals in Italy on Saturday due to Covid restrictions, but hopes it will all lead to seeing England at the final at Wembley on July 11.
"Even as I’m getting older the excitement still bites you,” Paul said. “Me and my partner Rachel both struggled to sleep on Monday.
"At professional level there is no easy game, there’s only ever what’s in front of you. But the buzz is we can beat Ukraine and get back for the final stretch.”
Superfan Tango has made headlines during the Euros coverage with images of his bare tattooed chest making the press around Europe.
He was banned from Hillsborough for two years in 2019 after the club said he had used ‘foul and abusive language’ towards female stewards, though he claimed at the time he had been returning from helping a fellow fan back to his place in the disabled section when around 10 stewards descended on him.
He says the ban has been reduced on appeal to 12 months and he is awaiting his season ticket to be renewed so he can return to Hillsborough, where he has been supporting the Owls since he was 17.