Friday, 24 May 2024

Fans waiting at airport disappointed after Lionesses leave through private exit

England fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the Lionesses as they arrived home were left disappointed as they left Heathrow Airport via a private exit.

Around 40 fans, including children, had gathered at Heathrow Terminal 3 early this morning in the hope of greeting them, with one group having arrived last night.

Some members of the group brought flowers for head coach Sarina Wiegman, while others brought placards which featured messages saying ‘you all made us proud’ and ‘can we have two t- shirts please?’

Hopes were raised when former player Alex Scott was spotted walking through arrivals, with fans saying she hinted the team would follow, causing the crowd to burst out into chants of ‘Sweet Caroline’.

Expectations were also raised when the team’s bags with the squad logo were seen being carried through on large trollies by airport staff

But hope soon turned to disappointment when airport staff told the onlookers that the Lionesses had already left the airport, and the crowd soon dispersed.

One of the fans, Joanne Bruce, 51, travelled to the airport from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire at 10.30pm last night with her niece and sister in the hope of thanking the team for their tournament performance.

She told reporters: ‘We haven’t slept, we have just laughed and joked.

‘It was just the three of us to start with. My sister was like “I really want to go early”.’

When asked if there were any other fans at the airport then she replied: ‘No, no, no. They didn’t come until about four o’clock this morning.

‘We have now got a car parking ticket of £70-80, maybe more.

‘I was very, very disappointed (about the final result). Seeing Millie with tears in her eyes, it just brought tears to my eyes. I really felt for them as well.

‘They have definitely done us proud, to get as far as they have.’

Yesterday, fans saw off the players in Sydney- who looked glum but nevertheless stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures while dressed in their pale blue tracksuits.

Upon their descent, the players would have seen 1,000 footballs spelling out ‘Proud’ on the grass of Actonians Ladies’ FC pitch in Chiswick, a club funded by the National Lottery, under the flight path.

The message, which reads ‘LIONESSES, YOU DID US PROUD’, is visible from a plane at 20,000ft high as the Lionesses return after a very successful seven weeks in Australia.

It contains thousands of small messages from fans up and down the country who have been inspired by the team’s exploits down under. 

Defender Lucy Bronze, 31, said: ‘The Olympics is always the goal, even if we had won this tournament. The goal is always to win tournaments with this team.

‘We have shown that we can do that. We have made a final again. There is no reason why the team cannot go on and create more legacies and more winning legacies.’

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