England’s Euro 2016 adventure starts today and, yet again, the hopes of a nation rest on the shoulders of 11 young men. As any long-term England fan will attest, the weight of expectation often proves too much and our boys crash out of major tournaments prematurely. But that doesn’t stop us believing that this year is our year, does it?!
That’s the spirit behind these excellent new T-shirts from Art of Football. Employing a slight change in lyrics by Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds 20 years ago – take a moment to let that sink in – they highlight some of the greats who’ve represented the three lions since England last won a major trophy. Fifty years of hurt never stopped us dreaming!
So while I’m watching in the hope that two ageing Russian centre backs will do for us what their linesman compatriot did in 1966, I’ll be wearing the rather fine T-shirt at the top of this post. The eagle-eyed and football-obsessed among you may have already clocked the one thing in common that all the players on it have. They’ve all played for my beloved Spurs.
It’s quite possible, in fact, that my shirt is unique as there are over two million possible combinations. This is because you can choose five players from a roster of 50, dating from the 1960s to the present day. From icons like Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks to our new hopes including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Ross Barkley, just about every England player to have made the headlines in tournaments since 1966 is there. The ultimate fantasy football five-a-side team, if you will.
I chose Jimmy Greaves, Glenn Hoddle, Gazza, Gary Lineker and Harry Kane. Between them are one who missed the final in 1966, two who lost out to Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal in 1986 and two who came agonisingly close in Italia 90. Yep, poor old Gary Lineker was thwarted twice! A very ‘Spursy’ line up. Not too much pressure on Harry Kane then…
Time for the competition side of things now. The friendly folk at Art of Football are offering bespoke T-shirts for two lucky winners. Just enter via the widget below – you can use as many entry methods as you like. Good luck!