• 16 July 2021

There really is only one story in town at the moment.

It didn’t come home, or did it…

On Sunday evening, the nation held its breathe, as England’s national men’s football team faced off against Italy in its first major final since 1966. The hopes, dreams, and celebrations of the entire country sat on their shoulders, but with the agonising lottery of penalties, Italy emerged victorious, meaning football – once again – didn’t ‘come home’. 

But to some degree though, this has been an incredible win for the brilliant squad of 26. Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, the England squad have cemented their legacy forever. Not only are they the most successful England men’s team for 55 years, they’ve achieved that with a panache, enthusiasm and likability never before seen from the Three Lions. 

As such, these 26 players have already gone down in history. Whether it’s Raheem Sterling and his incredible performances, Phil Foden and his bleached blonde hair, or Harry Kane and his inspirational leadership, regardless of the result – this group will be lauded for a long time. 

And as their marketability, and profile, increases dramatically, so does their earning potential, exposure, and risk. At Miller, we’re proud to be supporting 18 of the England squad on their journey – and now we can’t wait to see it continue!

Teenage Superstar

It’s easy to forget, with football fever sweeping the nation, that other sport is still going on… but it is, and in droves. 

We’ve had cricket, rugby, and athletics, but nothing epitomises the great British summer like Wimbledon. 

The historic tennis tournament returned this year after the COVID-enforced hiatus of last year, and what a picture it was to see a full house on Centre Court once again. 

And where would Wimbledon be without a young talent emerging from nowhere, taking on the big guns and capturing the imagination – this year, up stepped 18-year old Brit Emma Raducanu.

Playing in her first ever Wimbledon, the prodigy excelled throughout and won over the public with a stunning display, finding herself improbably in the fourth round. 

During that match, against Ajla Tomljanovic, Raducanu pulled up in the second set with difficult breathing and dizziness, before being advised to retire. A heartbreaking moment for the young sensation, but unlikely to be the last we see of her.

Athletes from across the UK, including Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham, came out in support of Raducanu, recalling their own battles with illness, and it’s a timely reminder of the suddenness of injury. Even when you’re on top of the world, feeling invincible, injury can strike – a reminder to always stay covered for any eventuality.

COVID Lingers

As mentioned, the sight of a full Centre Court and 65,000 at Wembley has warmed the hearts of us all, after the summer of 2020 that saw sport take place in hollow, vacuous, empty arena. It certainly feels like we’re returning to normal, and we can all get excited about that, but it’s worth remembering that we aren’t out of the woods yet.

The England men’s cricket team were forced to name an entirely new squad of 15 – just two days before their first ODI against Pakistan – after the full first team was ruled out due to contact tracing. 

In South Africa, meanwhile, the British & Irish Lions tour is increasingly riddled with quarantines, postponements and tracing. And in Tokyo, a state of emergency has been declared with rising cases and the IOC have taken the unprecedented decision to hold the Games without any fans at all. 

While strong measures are being taken to ensure games go ahead and the shoots of recovery grow strong, it’s business and mission critical we don’t forget the risk of COVID still remains prescient and present. 

But for now, let’s enjoy what is emerging as a truly historic summer of sport – something we all deserve!
Image of crowd cheering

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