European Championship Stories: 1996 – A Whole New Ball Game


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. Frank Heaven says:

    I remember looking forward immensely to Euro 96, but when it came around, I felt strangely flat whenever England played.

    I realise now, that during the two and a half years when England didn’t play a competitive game – between the 7-1 against San Marino in November 1993 and that Switzerland Euro 96 opener – I fell out of love with the England team.

    English football was at rock bottom in the 1980s, for the reasons you describe, but it hadn’t been commercialised by the marketing men – yet. If you liked football, it was because you REALLY liked it, not because an advert said you should like it.

    That changed with the Premier League and all seater stadia, and it changed most dramatically during that 1993 to 1996 period.

    By that summer of 1996, with Three Lions on every radio you heard, even idiots like Chris Evans were banging on about ‘footie’ – as it was now known. The bandwagon was big enough for any johnny-come-lately.

    But, to paraphrase the Daily Mirror’s front page before the Germany semi-final – for me, the love was over.

  2. SD says:

    Euro 96 was the first international tournament I can properly remember [vaguely remember USA 94 a bit]. Even though I don’t care much for the England team nowadays, I still remember the agony when Gazza missed the open goal against Germany in the golden goal period of the semi final. The closest we’ve ever come to a final since 1966.

    Also, though the England team aren’t very good nowadays, it doesn’t affect the memory of the 4-1 win over Holland, possibly still one of my favourite games of international football that I’ve watched.

  1. March 29, 2012

    […] alongside a wider sense of corrosion in what had been the nations number one pastime.” twohundredpercent Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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