AFTER the country has suffered through a year like no other, perhaps that was what we all needed!

Pubs across Cumbria echoed with cheers on Tuesday afternoon as England did the seemingly impossible - and bested Germany in the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time since 1966. There's been little to cheer about since the start of the pandemic, but we got something last night.

With kick-off at 5pm, some employers allowed workers to leave early to catch the match on TV, while many of the region's pubs had a full house as fans packed in.

Dianne Irving, who owns The Crown, The Howard Arms and the Milbourne Arms in Carlisle is expecting a busy night.

Speaking before the game, she said: "We're showing it and we're fully booked. The Euros has been as good as it can be for us in the circumstances - normally we would have standing room too though."

Of course, not everyone was backing England to win - there's a small contingent of German-born nationals in Cumbria were hoping their side could reach the quarter-finals - at England's expense.

According to 2011 census data, 478 people in Carlisle were born in Germany, as well as 209 in Copeland and 255 in Allerdale.

Prior to the game, the British-German Association, a charity founded in 1951 to foster friendship between the two nations, said members were excited about Tuesday's game.

A spokesperson said: "The British-German Association fosters mutual understanding and friendly contacts between the UK and Germany.

"So we are looking forward to the England-Germany football match as a way of bringing together two great sporting countries in their shared love of football.

"Our members around the country are excited about watching the forthcoming game."

In the end, however, the Germans were left disappointed, as the chants of "it's coming home" rang out across the country.

Footage on social media saw Botchergate in Carlisle blocked to traffic as countless England fans took to the street to celebrate - with social distancing measures seemingly forgotten.

England progressing can only be good for the pub trade, which of course has been among the hardest hit during the pandemic.

Speaking before kick-off, Lloyd Burnie, landlord at the Junction Bar in Workington, said: "I just can't wait for another good day. It's what the pub trade needs, another full house.

"I just hope they win and we get another one on Saturday, and that will be another good day. Hopefully, we go right to the final, and then town will be mental."