Euro 96, the complete history, part one: England's expectations, the dentist's chair and El Tel's troubles

Euro 96 history
(Image credit: FourFourTwo)

This is part one of this feature: Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

You know the story of Euro 96, don’t you? A footballing opera played out against a backdrop of endless summer, accompanied by a timeless theme song, with cameo roles for great goals and that most enduring of central themes: England coming up agonisingly short (even before the tournament began, it was “thirty years of hurt”).

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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.

With contributions from