Fifty Years of Hurt. By Henry Winter. Bantam Press; 388 pages; £20.
Out of Time: 1966 and the End of Old-Fashioned Britain. By Peter Chapman. Wisden; 268 pages; $30.Bloomsbury; £18.99.
When We Were Lions: Euro ‘96 and the Last Great British Summer. By Paul Rees. Aurum Press; 328 pages; $28.99 and £18.99.
ALMOST exactly 50 years ago, England won football’s World Cup for the first and only time. Since then, much effort has gone into repeating this feat. There have been near-misses, in 1990 and 2002, but as Henry Winter notes in “Fifty Years of Hurt”, England have failed to qualify for these tournaments more often than they have reached the semi-finals. For a football-mad country, he argues, this constitutes a national disgrace. Following their ignominious exit on June 27th from Euro 2016, two questions are raised: why is the team now so mediocre, and how did it once become the best in the world?Peter Chapman turned 18 and was living in London in 1966. “Out of Time” is a gentle and...Continue reading