Give Lionesses gongs for their heroics in Women’s World Cup, MPs demand as King Charles urges them to ‘roar to victory’
SUPER Sarina Wiegman and her roar-some Lionesses should get damehoods for their Women’s World Cup heroics, MPs demanded yesterday.
The call came as Bobby Moore’s widow urged the England team to summon the spirit of 1966 and win the trophy just like the men did.
As King Charles and Prince William — together with Princess Charlotte — sent the squad best wishes, Stephanie Moore hailed the “once in a lifetime” opportunity in this morning’s final against Spain in Sydney.
And England captain Millie Bright, 29, preparing for the biggest game of her life, said yesterday playing in the final was a dream come true for the players.
Chelsea star Millie added: “Everyone knows how big this is.
“As a group we’d like to say thank you, not only to the fans back home but the fans that are here as well. Stick with us one more game.”
An audience of up to 15million back home is expected to watch on the BBC or ITV — with bookies slashing odds that it will be the year’s most viewed sporting event.
Supporters will also cram into public fan zones across England.
Ministers had urged councils to relax licensing laws so pubs can open for the 11am kick-off.
England men’s boss Gareth Southgate, captain Harry Kane and ex-skipper David Beckham sent good luck messages.
Tory MP for Mid-Derbyshire Pauline Latham said: “They should all be honoured — win or lose. They absolutely deserve it.”
Fellow Tory MP Kevin Foster added: “The Lionesses have inspired the whole nation and done us all proud. Well-earned gongs should be swiftly awarded.”
And Labour MP Chris Evans said: “Bobby Moore died without a gong because it took them so long to honour the 1966 side. Let’s not make the same mistake.
“Win or lose, let’s recognise the incredible achievement of the Lionesses getting this far.”
After manager Wiegman, 53, led England to their Euros triumph at Wembley last year, only selected players got gongs.
Captain Leah Williamson, 26, who has missed the World Cup through injury, was made an OBE.
Team-mates Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze and Ellen White were made MBEs.
Yesterday, Cabinet Office sources said the whole team and manager were likely to be honoured — if they win.
But another Tory MP Caroline Nokes, chair of the Women and Equalities Committee in Parliament, said: “Win or Lose we should designate the late August bank holiday ‘Lioness Day’.”
Stephanie, 72, who set up the Bobby Moore fund after his death from bowel cancer, said: “What a wonderful journey the Lionesses have been on, with success at the Euros on home turf and now this once in a lifetime chance to lift the World Cup.”
She added: “I think they have been a credit to themselves, to football and to the country.”
The King last night gave the team his support in a social media message. It was timed at 10pm so the Lionesses saw it as they woke up in Sydney.
In it, Charles said: “Good luck today and may you roar to victory.”
He signed off the message — alongside an image of a lioness — with his royal cypher, Charles R.
Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 76, were set to watch the game at home on the Balmoral estate.
FA president William, 41, has faced flak for not attending the final — but is said to have opted not to travel to keep down his carbon footprint.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has been scrambled to represent the Government there amid criticism over the absence of the PM and senior ministers.
William sent a good luck message to the squad last night, with Princess Charlotte melting hearts as she joined her dad.
Sitting on a bench together, he placed his arm around his daughter, eight, as he spoke.
The Prince of Wales said: “Lionesses, we want to send you a huge good luck for tomorrow. We are sorry we can’t be there in person but we are so proud of everything you have achieved and the millions you have inspired here and around the world. So go out there tomorrow and really enjoy yourselves.”
Charlotte, with a football on her lap, added on the social media video: “Good luck Lionesses.”
One follower on X/Twitter said: “Lovely message of support, and wonderful to see Princess Charlotte.”
Another added: “What an adorable video. Princess Charlotte is such a beautiful little girl.”
Southgate’s message said: “You’re doing a brilliant job. I wish you the very best for the final and we hope you can bring that trophy back.”
And ex-Tottenham striker Kane said: “Hi Lionesses — best of luck for the World Cup final. Amazing journey so far, you should be really proud of yourselves.
“We’re all behind you, so go and get that World Cup win and bring that trophy home.”
Ex-England and Man Utd superstar Beckham shared pictures online of the Lionesses as children.
And he said: “These young footballers never stopped believing and grew up to become our incredible Lionesses. Good luck — whatever happens the whole country is so proud of everything you’ve achieved to get to this historic moment.
“Keep believing, play with the amazing passion and team spirit you show every time you take to the pitch.”
An army of 6,000 England fans will roar on the Lionesses in Sydney’s Stadium Australia.
Some have flown out just for the match. Law boss Harriet Leach, 38, of London said: “I got off the plane on Friday. I came in especially.
“It’s a 24-hour flight and it’s expensive — but what the girls are doing on the pitch is absolutely incredible.”
David Beckham said: “These young footballers never stopped believing and grew up to become our incredible Lionesses… and now they will play in a game that dreams are made of.
“Good luck to the @lionesses ahead of the World Cup final – whatever happens the whole country is so proud of everything you’ve achieved to get to this historic moment.
“Keep believing, play with the amazing passion and team spirit you show every time you take to the pitch.
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