This was a chance for England fans to get together at Wembley for the first time in a very long time. And how they relished it.
COVID restrictions meant that the attendance was limited to just 22,500 people and everyone needed to produce proof of vaccination or a negative test result before gaining entry and taking their seats.
For hours before kick-off against Croatia, Wembley Way buzzed with fans singing the old favourites, with many sporting retro jerseys from Euro 96 and other tournaments.
“It’s just amazing to be back, after everything the country has been through, we’re going to enjoy every minute of this,” one England fan told me as she made her way towards the ground.
Croatia ended England’s World Cup dream in Russia three years ago, but they rarely threatened Gareth Southgate’s team.
If anything, the one-year delay to this tournament has perhaps helped England’s young stars mature a bit.
The FA had asked fans before the match not to boo players taking a knee prior to kick-off, and while the overwhelming majority cheered on their heroes, a few dozen outside the ground were chanting “England get off your knees”.
But nothing could overshadow a fantastic start for England, their first ever win in an opening game at the European Championships, at the 10th time of asking.
It’s very early days in this competition, but England know that a win against Scotland on Friday will see them through to the knockout stages and from there, anything can happen.
As one fan put it: “We deserve a decent summer”.