From a Portakabin in Ely to the Avenue of the Giants: major tournament memories | Max Rushden

Whether at youth hostels, sticky-floored pubs or Cuban cinemas, fans of the England men’s team have endured a lifetime of disappointment on the big stage

Euro 96 was where it started in a meaningful way or truly feeling the hope and the anguish. The BBC montage splicing together Darren Anderton off the post, Gazza’s studs and Gareth Southgate’s penalty to Walkaway by Cast. Des Lynam presumably delivered something understated but poignant, and the bluesy guitar started pinging away. The montage maker must have been working on two edits. We will never know the upbeat one – a roll of tape just gathering dust in a vault or used as insulation for a two-bed apartment in W1A.

Once in your lifetime. Isn’t that the hope for England fans? To see the men’s side do it just once. This isn’t the hubristic arrogance that forgets that other countries also play football in the weeks leading up to a tournament. It isn’t calling Southgate a failure if we lose on penalties in the semi-finals to France. It isn’t yelling “Oh not faakin’ Bowen” at a big screen in an overcrowded sticky-floored pub as he prepares to come on with eight minutes left to try to break the deadlock against Slovenia. We’re not looking for a dynasty, just one tournament to go in off our collective English backside.

Continue reading…

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *