It was the summer of hope…the first major tournament in England since the victorious World Cup campaign 30 years earlier.There was even a penalty shoot-out victory for the Three Lions.But, like always, Euro 96 finished in the inevitable disappointment of elimination at the hands of the Germans — 20 years ago today.There was optimism in the England camp with healthy mixture of youth and experience in the squad.Two of the players — Paul Gascoigne and Stuart Pearce — were part of the team which finished fourth at Italia 90.While 21-year-olds, Gary Neville, Robbie Fowler and Sol Campbell were all emerging as important Premier League players.There was a fantastic atmosphere within the camp — possibly too good as stories emerging of binge drinking sessions involving certain members of the squad.Predictably, fans were delivered a slow start as England opened with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Switzerland.That was followed by a Home Nations derby victory over Scotland, remembered for Gascoigne’s wonderful volley and the ‘dentist chair’ celebration — a reference to antics the players got up to in of the bonding sessions.David Seaman also saved a penalty from Gary McAllister.Yet, it was in the final group game where England really came to… Read full this story
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