'Wembley will forever hold a special place in my heart'
We catch up with England internationals Lucy Bronze and Kalvin Phillips to discuss their memories of Wembley Stadium as part of the iconic ground’s 100th birthday
I think my first trip to Wembley was as a player. Obviously I am from the far, far north of England in Northumberland so Wembley was not an easy travel day!
The first time I played there was with England in a friendly against Germany in 2014 and we got beat 3-0!
Walking out at Wembley Stadium for the first time was so special. At the time, it was the biggest stadium I had played in. Obviously, it is nice to play in iconic stadiums around the world but when it is your stadium, your home stadium, it has a different feel to it.
The Germany game was also my nephew’s first-ever game and we had to get special permission for him to come because he was something like six weeks old!
Since that game in 2014, we have played at Wembley Stadium more and more and so many pivotal moments have happened there for us as a team.
Winning the EURO Final there was so special. But even before that, I had so many great moments.
The games at Wembley were always the games my family would be able to get to because they were the big occasions, so I have so many fond memories not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
I have played in many stadiums across England, France and Spain and Camp Nou is the only one that comes close because of the historical aspect and it is the only one which is bigger than Wembley, although it wasn’t full when I played there.
But even if it had been, it is hard to compete with Wembley Stadium. With the atmosphere and the whole occasion of the Women’s EURO Final, I am not sure Wembley Stadium can ever be beaten!
Lionesses Crowned UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Champions!
Highlights from the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Final between England and Germany
Growing up, I would watch England games on the TV because I didn’t get the chance to go to Wembley until I was around the age of 19.
But when I did first go to Wembley to watch England versus Scotland the atmosphere was amazing.
The first time I saw the big arch, it was incredible and I can remember going there and thinking it is one of my aims to play here at some point, not just for England but in general. The atmosphere was just unbelievable.
My first game at Wembley was my first home match for England in 2020. It was a nerve-wracking feeling but it was during Covid so there were not many fans there, so I wasn’t distracted by the atmosphere or anything like that. I was able to just focus on playing football.
I’ve been fortunate to play there on many occasions now and my favourite times at Wembley have to be the EUROs. There was the last 16 match with Germany and the semi-final against Denmark, where the atmosphere was amazing.
The atmosphere was amazing for the final as well but because we won those games against Germany and Denmark, those games were extra special.
My favourite memory of Wembley has to be after the Denmark game. All my family were there – my mum, mum’s boyfriend, twin sister, younger sister, brother, agent, cousins…there were about 15 people there – and we were all singing Sweet Caroline together.
Wembley is up there with Elland Road as my favourite stadium. I love St James’ Park as well because of the size of the stadium and the atmosphere, and Anfield is good as well, so there are four of them which stand out, but Wembley is touching top spot with Elland Road!
Wembley will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Relive 100 Wembley moments