Even in England’s defeat and heartbreak at Wembley there were still these moments of sheer pride and joy.
And as the Observer’s Andrew Rawnsley wrote early on Sunday, this England team have brought us all so much more than football:
“If England win tonight, Gareth Southgate and his players will be national heroes. If they lose, they will still have given the country much to admire and think about.”
England fans with red smoke prior to the final.
England fans enjoy the pre-match atmosphere on Wembley Way.
Gareth Southgate makes his way towards the dressing room.
The Red Arrows perform a flyover above Wembley.
Luke Shaw (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal, the fastest ever goal in a Euros final.
Luke Shaw celebrates with Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips and Kieran Trippier after scoring their side’s first goal.
England fans celebrate as Shaw scores.
Luke Shaw celebrates with Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips after scoring their side’s first goal.
The scene in Vinegar Yard, London after Shaw’s goal.
England fans celebrate the first goal as they gather at Luna Springs in Birmingham.
England fans celebrate the first goal while watching at the The Charles Dickens Tavern in Melbourne, Australia.
An England fan at BOXPARK Croydon reacts as they watch the final.
Italy’s Giovanni Di Lorenzo and England’s Mason Mount in action.
England’s John Stones vies for the header with Italy’s forward Ciro Immobile.
Football fans react to a live broadcast of the final in the Oxford Arms pub in Camden, London.
William, Kate and their son George applaud during the ceremony before kickoff.
England fans cheer outside Wembley Stadium.
A pitch invader is chased by stewards.
Gareth Southgate gives instructions to his players as Jack Grealish comes on as a substitute.
Gareth Southgate controls the ball.