Kalvin Phillips melts Leeds United hearts with final whistle Granny Val England tribute

England are in a major international final for the first time in 55 years, courtesy of a 2-1 extra-time victory over a plucky Danish side.

A Simon Kjaer own goal and Harry Kane rebound after he saw his penalty saved in extra-time, were enough to send England through.

However, the Three Lions did suffer a scare when Mikkel Damsgaard fired in a dipping free-kick early in the first half of normal time.

Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips took some time to grow into the game but his contributions increased as the game wore on and Danish legs succumbed to fatigue.

The Leeds United midfielder was excellent for an hour, hassling his opponents ferociously, as well as showcasing some fleeting moments of real technical quality.

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At full time, after a breathless 120 minutes of end-to-end action, England emerged victorious as Dutch referee Danny Makkelie put the whistle to his lips.

A chorus of Neil Diamond’s classic ‘Sweet Caroline’ bellowed round Wembley stadium, from the stands to the pitch as 60,000 England supporters serenaded their heroes, only to see the squad joined arm-in-arm, sing it right back.

Kalvin Phillips though, was pictured adorning a new shirt, complete with his squad number: fourteen.

Where the Phillips name had been for 120 minutes, it was now replaced by ‘Granny Val’ – another tribute to his late grandmother who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Kalvin Phillips pays tribute to Granny Val after England’s semi-final victory

This evening’s triumph caps a rollercoaster 12 months for the Leeds United man.

Less than 365 days ago, Phillips was still a Championship player, and in the ensuing 12 months, he has secured promotion, made his England debut, his Premier League debut, battled personal tragedy and now reached a major international final, while starting every game.

It has been an incredible journey, and Phillips’ humility to recognise those who played a key role in getting him there is astoundingly refreshing, even if those individuals are no longer here to witness it.

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