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The Five Stages of Being an England Fan (updated)


Stage 1: Denial


“OK, I know we haven’t won anything since 1966, but this time will be different…”

Every two years – give or take failure to qualify (cheers, Steve McClaren) – the closer the tournament gets, the more you deny England are about as much use as a chocolate teapot and genuinely think we can defy the odds and win the bloody thing.

Stage 2: Anger

Game 1

“What was that utter s***show?!”

Pre-tournament optimism is quickly volleyed into Row Z as we play out a stagnant 0-0 draw against a team playing with three professionals, a part-time dentist and seven traffic cones.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Final Group Game

“I’ll never criticise the boys again if we somehow nick a win and finish second… hopefully we don’t draw Germany in the last sixteen”

England somehow pinch a win thanks to a fourth-minute own goal and a lot of time-wasting. Inevitably Germany await in the last sixteen…

Updated 3rd July: England’s last game.

Stage 4: Depression

Germany Dump England Out

“Why was I born in Bolton? Why couldn’t I have been born in Berlin?!”

England succumb to the power of German quality/efficiency/ability-to-score-from-12-yards and crash out just as the tournament is getting going.

Stage 4: Elation

England Dump Germany Out



England beat Germany (not that we ever doubted them) and march on towards glory.

Stage 5: Acceptance


“Of course we weren’t going to win, what was I thinking, we’re f***ing useless!”

England are knocked out and you wake up feeling like a bit of a plank for getting caught up in the ‘It’s Coming Home’ pre-tournament fever.

… and repeat every two/four years!


Arise, Sir Gareth!

“Football’s come home!”


England smash Italy in the final and go on to win every tournament for the next forty years!

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