The time of 3am Saturday found us dodging late-night revellers in Bolton on our way to Manchester Airport for another flight to Frankfurt for the Euro 2024 quarter-final in Dusseldorf.

The airport was packed as the holiday season has started but we got through reasonably quickly for our Lufthansa flight.

Passport control in Frankfurt took about 30 minutes for us non-EU passengers but we were in plenty of time for our ICE train connection to Dusseldorf. The train was packed with English and Swiss fans, along with a large German hen party, heading for Cologne, keeping us well amused with their singing and other antics of trying to stamp other passengers with their party logo.

We arrived in Dusseldorf about 1pm and the NH hotel Konigsallee thankfully allowed us to check in early. Then it was off to the match, starting with a walk along Konigsallee - a modern shopping street adorned with a lake with bridges and statues aplenty - to find the U78 tram from Heinrich-Heine-Allee underground station. The tram was packed for the 20-minute journey to the Dusseldorf Arena, also known as the Merkur-Spiel Arena, the home of Fortuna Dusseldorf .

From the outside, it looks like a big concrete box-shaped warehouse but inside it was impressive - a real atmospheric cauldron to watch football in, with stands towering on all sides. The atmosphere was building up nicely with both sets of fans in full voice.

The Swiss fans we met were very confident, claiming teams with Harry Kane do not win competitions, as proved by his time at Tottenham and now Bayern Munich. The England fans only seemed to be there for the beer, with fingers crossed we could play better than we had up to now.

The excitement rose as the team coaches arrived and the players of both teams did a walkabout on the pitch. Then it was the official warm-up periods before the opening ceremony, which UEFA have got off to a tee. Both sets of fans were in good voice with the Swiss bouncing up and down in unison, humming the Second Waltz. The England fans responded with Vindaloo!

Against good opposition, who had comprehensively beaten the Italians and drawn with the hosts Germany, England were on it from the start. High pressing all round, Bukayo Saka unleashed and our retaining possession game, saw us in control of the first half but with nothing to show for it. In the second half, the Swiss upped their game and surprisingly took the lead through Breel Embolo after 75 minutes. We were stunned and Gareth Southgate responded with three substitutes, bringing on Ebereche Exe, Cole Palmer and a welcome return for Luke Shaw. Saka came to the rescue with an absolute pearler of a goal, cutting in from the left wing.

Extra time had us all on our seats as chances flared at both ends, with Jordan Pickford making a cracking save with seconds to go. Then it was the dreaded penalties with England fans biting their nails.

For once, England scored their set of five penalties, all confidently taken by our young guns. Pickford messed with the first Swiss penalty taker and made the save and we were in ecstasy, we were through to the semi-final. We all needed a drink after going through all that drama.

Getting away from the stadium and back to Dusseldorf city centre was well organised and quick. To celebrate, we ended up in an Italian restaurant, L’Osteria, packed with celebrating England fans and disappointed Swiss fans. It was going to be a long night in Dusseldorf with England fans out to party.