A record number of people applied to become official UEFA EURO 2020 volunteers at this summer's finals across the 12 cities hosting the tournament.

More than 37,000 applications from 159 counties were received with 88% of them from people living in the host countries.

That is the highest number of applications ever received for a EURO tournament and the high proportion of those applying from the host countries will ensure there is an invaluable local knowledge on offer from volunteers during the finals.

“There is a rich tradition of volunteering at all major sports events and UEFA EURO has never been an exception. Those who are eventually chosen will have the opportunity to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience this summer,” said UEFA Events SA CEO Martin Kallen.

“Through volunteering, UEFA and the local organisers in each host city offer local people the chance to be part of one of the biggest sports events in the world and in most cases the largest footballing event organised in their city. They are able to learn invaluable skills which will help them in their future professions and make long-lasting friendships with people from across the continent.”

HeraldScotland:

More than 60% of applicants are under the age of 25, with the role of a volunteer providing them with an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand experience of assisting at one of the world’s biggest sporting events. A total of 41% of applications were from women.

Both those figures are an increase on the numbers from four years ago. Prior to EURO 2016, which was held in France, there were 22,000 applications put forward to become volunteers at the tournament, of which 36% were submitted by women.

The 12,000 volunteers selected for UEFA EURO 2020 will start their preparations for their respective roles at the beginning of March when a specific e-learning platform will open, where online modules will help them prepare for their tasks ahead.

After the tournament, the volunteers will be able to use the knowledge and expertise they have gained to help create a long-lasting legacy both inside and outside of football.

For those who miss out on the chance to be part of the UEFA EURO 2020 volunteer programme, the 12 host cities will also be launching their own volunteer initiatives.