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Is Football Coming Home?

Updated on July 5, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Eileen may not be a football fan but she has endured World Cup football, its highs and its lows, since England’s 1966 victory

Jubilant scenes

England v Colombia 2018
England v Colombia 2018 | Source

Football’s Coming Home Earlier Hopes

England Fans Dare To Dream

Tuesday July 3, 2018, the England national football squad did the unthinkable.

They won their World Cup 2018 knockout round match against Colombia and on penalties.

You may think it would have been more of an achievement to win by scoring more goals during the match and yes in many ways it would.

But for a long time penalty shoot outs have been an England squad curse.

The team are now in the quarter-finals of this four-yearly competition and England fans are staring to believe that just maybe ”football’s coming home” at last.

England versus Colombia players

Remembering ‘66

The last time England won the Fifa Football World Cup was in 1966.

At that time Britain was the host nation.

In 2018 Russia is playing host to this popular four-yearly football competition.

Things have changed a lot since 1966. The last time England won the world Cup

  • Chris Farlowe was Number One in the U.K. charts with Out Of Time
  • Across the Pond in the USA it was The Troggs with their single Wild Thing
  • Harold Wilson had recently won a general election and was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom leading a Labour government
  • While over in the U.S.A. Lyndon B. Johnson was President
  • Russia, the World Cup host nation in 2018, was still the Soviet Union and a Communist state and its leader was Leonid Brezhnev
  • Swinging London was all the rage
  • Man had yet to land on the moon
  • Many things we take for granted today were nowhere near being invented

And me, I was aged just 14.

It was a black and white TV world back then

The Queen handed the World Cup to England Captain Bobby Moore and the home crowd went wild
The Queen handed the World Cup to England Captain Bobby Moore and the home crowd went wild

England V Colombia

I am not a football fan and in real terms I know little of the so called “beautiful game” but with a husband of almost 46 years who is a fan I have watched many World Cup competitions.

It is a bit like passive smoking. You are sucked in.

England versus Colombia July 3, 2018, was a significant match for the country’s national football team and across the country people tuned in.

This match was watched in homes, bars, pubs, clubs, and on open-air big screens.

British people rallied behind the England squad. It may not have been unanimous but a huge majority of people tuned in and spent a tense 90 minutes and an even more nerve jangling period of extra time sat on the edge of their seats.

Colombia tried their best to rattle English players and it was a relatively dirty game but our young squad stayed cool, calm and collected and it almost paid off.

We did have our moments when tempers frayed though.

Sadly England could not hold onto their 1-0 lead and two tired teams had to endure a period of extra time.

Fifteen minutes each way of extra time and it was still stalemate.

It was to be the dreaded penalty shoot-out

The Daily Mirror reporting on England’s poor penalty track record writes

England's World Cup penalty shoot-out triumph over Colombia breaks a losing streak in major tournaments that stretches back 22 years.

The Three Lions have only won one of the seven penalty shootouts that they’ve been involved in at major tournaments.

That win came at Euro 1996, when Shearer, Platt, Pearce and Gascoigne all netted against Spain.

But even that quarter-final victory was tainted when they lost to Germany in the semi-finals just days later - with now-manager Gareth Southgate missing the crucial spot kick.

It’s fair to say our penalty shoot out record was the worst of those taking part in World Cup 2018, but not any more.

That means Colombia may have felt confident but it could also have applied pressure on both teams to perform.

However England’s manager Gareth Southgate has trained our boys well.

Understanding what it is like to miss a crucial spot kick Southgate has worked on all aspects of the squad’s football including taking penalties.

The England versus Colombia match was won on penalties by England 4-3 and it is fair to say the nation and social media erupted.

It will be the dreaded penalty shoot out


Forgive our enthusiasm

You will have to forgive our over enthusiastic response to the penalty win.

England is in some British people’s hearts the home of football.

It is one reason each win during each World Cup stage leads people to whisper “football’s coming home.”

England‘s next match is Saturday against Sweden

It is a quarter-final match and a win would move us into the semi-finals.

People are hastily adjusting their diaries and plans for the weekend. Many will have expected the England squad to be on its way home by now but it is not.

In England on Saturday afternoon from around 3pm B.S.T. shops will be empty and city centres will resemble ghost towns for at least two hours as football takes precedence over all else.

Back home in the U.K. an extended heatwave has been lifting people’s spirits and a World Cup win, even just a knockout stage match, adds to a happier feeling.

If you hate football it has been a gruelling few weeks with so many matches dominating TV screens in the early stages of the competition.

But we are moving toward the last lap and for once England is still a part of the football phenomenon that is the World Cup.

If we lose Saturday the dream is over.

But till then we all continue to believe, just maybe, this time football is coming home.

Is Football Coming Home?

Can England Win FIFA World Cup 2018

See results

© 2018 Ethel Smith


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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      19 months ago from UK

      I watched several England matches with interest while on holiday in the Canaries.For one we ended up in an Irish bar full of England fans, wbich was ok apart from the guy on his phone who took advantage of the slight time delay to inform us all in advance of the next goal having been scored! For a young, relatively inexperienced squad they did very well. I just hope they can fulfill their potential.


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