A Brief History Of England False Dawns: Part One

For those amongst you that hadn’t noticed, England beat Spain, the current World and European champions, by a single goal in an international friendly match at Wembley over the weekend. The celebrations were tempered – Spain haven’t given the impression of taking friendly matches very seriously of late and played poorly – but there will always be a small corner of England that will be forever triumphalist, and some may be tempted to start believing that England are now capable of winning next summer’s European Championships. It is, however, worth remembering that England are arguably the world champions of the false dawn in terms of international football. They have, in the post-war years, frequently seemed able to be able to turn it on for ninety minutes, but seldom when things really matter. With this in mind, here are some of England’s greatest false dawns. 16th May 1948 – Turin – Italy 0 England 4 Background: The end of the Second World War saw international football return and England return to FIFA, following almost two decades in the relative wilderness after their withdrawal from FIFA after a row over payments to amateur players. The England team of the immediate post-war period was widely recognised as one of the finest in the world, but they were expected to meet their match in the form of Italy. Italy had won the previous...

Read More