Despite failures, my faith in England is strong

Despite failures, my faith in England is strong

The Fault in Our Stars is taking the movie world by storm, yet every time it is mentioned all I can think of is my relationship with the England football team.

The chick flick centres on a young couple who fall in love, have beautiful dreams of a perfect life together but are ultimately consigned to an unbearably cruel fate thanks to forces of nature beyond their control.

So, at the age of 41, and having never seen England lift a major trophy, I am wondering if my destiny is also to be denied the one thing I have wished for since I was old enough to start following the national team of my birth.

Supporting any football team involves a hefty slice of emotional investment, with time spent poring over players, tactics and, most importantly, the matches themselves.

Yet, there have been slim pickings for England fans since our solitary World Cup win in 1966, a date that is increasingly becoming a burden instead of something to celebrate.

The first big tournament I can remember was the World Cup in Spain in 1982, when Bryan Robson scored almost immediately against France in our opening match.

It was a moment of pure pleasure and one that I thought had been replicated when Raheem Sterling flashed a shot into the side netting against Italy last week.

Perhaps that is why I let out a loud, guttural roar that seemed to come from a strange, dark place deep inside, and had my neighbour rushing out of her unit to check if I was okay.

It was the release of a lifetime of pent-up frustration, swept along by a euphoric feeling that this really could be our time to succeed. It didn't work out that way, much the same as Steven Gerrard's early strike against the US in South Africa four years ago also led to the usual dead-end.



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