David Seaman broke down in tears as he apologised to the nation after his mistake against Brazil sent England crashing out of the World Cup.
England's veteran goalkeeper misjudged a long-range Ronaldinho free-kick that turned out to be Brazil's winner in their 2-1 quarter-final triumph in Shizuoka.
A clearly devastated Seaman was overcome with emotion as he met the media after the game, speaking only briefly before being led away sympathetically by an FA official.
He said: "I just want to say sorry to all the fans. I feel as if I have let people down.
"I thought he mis-kicked the free-kick and I misjudged it."
If anyone makes a scapegoat out of David Seaman after that it will be an absolute disgrace
Seaman added: "The lads have been fantastic. They have supported me, telling me I had kept us in the tournament."
England skipper David Beckham backed his keeper as he said: "If anyone makes a scapegoat out of David Seaman after that it will be an absolute disgrace.
"He's been the best goalkeeper in the tournament. It was a freak goal that was a cross that ended up in the net."
And striker Teddy Sheringham, who came on as a second-half substitute for England, said: "Seaman is still the world's best.
"Goals like that happen sometimes. If you saw him in training and watched him in the World Cup you would see why I still think he is the number one."
England's Kieron Dyer also said: "David Seaman has been a mountain for England for the last 10 years.
"No-one is blaming him for anything. He has been a magnificent servant for his country and his saves have been keeping us in games for years."