MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : 90 MINUTES – 29.6.1996

We’re slap bang in the middle of Euro 96, and Stuart Pearce’s celebration after his penalty against Spain being the cover image.

There is an error on this cover, as it is dated 8th June 1996, when it should be 29th June 1996, as it is inside.

In their cartoon, Gazza and Teddy Sheringham go out for a cup of tea, downing it like they were on the infamous Dentist’s Chair in Hong Kong.

In transfer rumours, Anders Limpar is leaving Everton to join Marseille.

In news, a survey by Cellnet has revealed that 27% of football fans phone friends and family from matches to keep them up to date with scores.

Despite being in the middle of a tournament, Terry Venables gives an interview to 90 minutes where he revelas he considers himself a passionate Celt rather than a sedate Englishman, due to his Welsh and French family background.

There are full page match reports of the final group games of Euro 96, that saw England go through and Scotland go out.

Later on in the magazine, there are reports of the Euro 96 Quarter-Finals.

90 Minutes Live interviews fans outside Germany v Czech Republic at Old Trafford, asking which Euro 96 player they would like to see bitten by a rabid bat.

One Port Vale supporter says Darren Anderton, as he’s sick of his female friends commenting on how good looking he is.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : 90 MINUTES – 24.2.1996

Dennis Wise and Dan Petrescu are the cover stars of this week’s edition of 90 Minutes, which has declared Chelsea as the season’s surprise package.

In news, Manchester United have taken Mark Fish on trial. United have also signed a new kit deal with Umbro worth £40m – £65m.

Leeds United have been ordered bu UEFA to upgrade their dressing rooms for Euro 96, at a cost of £500,000.

There is a three page spread on Chelsea, with 90 minutes describing it as their finest team since the 70s.

Clyde are facing Rangers in the Scottish Cup, and 90 Minutes has an interview with Clyde’s ageing Celtic legend Charlie Nicholas.

Also getting a feature is Blackpool, after it is claimed that their stadium is being haunted by the ghost of Admiral Nelson.

In competitions, you could spend a night with Paul Merson.

As Euro 96 approaches, there is a full page profile on the French team, so good, that David Ginola and Eric Cantona can’t get a game.

90 Minutes Live canvasses supporters at Coventry City v Manchester City for the worst refereeing decision they have ever seen.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOOTBALL ITALIA – JUNE 1996

It’s the summer of 1996 and Fabrizio Ravanelli is the cover star of Football Italia, as he gets ready to head to England for Euro 96. Little did we know, that a few months later, he would be making England his permanent residence.

The editorial focuses on Channel 4 clarifying that they’re not ditching their live coverage of Serie A, as they were unable to show recent games due to a combination of players taking strike action, and games being moved to Saturday.

In news, Fabio Capello is leaving AC Milan for Real Madrid, while Carlo Ancelotti is replacing Nevio Scala at Parma. In transfer news, Aron Winter is signing for Inter, while Gianluca Vialli has held talks with Parma, Rangers and several Premier League clubs.

There was a double page spread dedicated to the recent player strike in protest at the governing body negotiating a TV deal without consulting players and the increase of violence in stadiums. Gianluca Vialli’s involvement in organising the strike saw him be nicknamed “Robin Hood”

In more news, Mark Fish has signed for Lazio, becoming the first South African to play in Series A, while Michael Jackson was staying in the same hotel as the Parma team before their European Cup Winners Cup tie. Fulham supporter Jackson turned down the opportunity of a Parma scarf.

John Helm does a double page spread where he visits Chimney House Hotel in Sandbach, Cheshire, which will be Italy’s base during Euro 96. The hotel had to order in a bed specifically for Italy’s tall goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi.

Italy weren’t the first team to stay there according to the manager of the hotel, they usually get away teams facing Crewe Alexandra staying there.

There is a four page spread focusing on the rise of players in Italy’s top two divisions who are well into their 30s, such as Pietro Vierchowod, looking forward to a European Cup final at the age of 37.

Football Italia previews Euro 96, with a guide to what games are live on what channel in the UK, and a team by team preview, expecting Italy to beat England in the semi-final before beating Holland in the final. Italy went out in the group stage.

It is predicted that Russia will get a lot of local support at their group matches at Old Trafford and Anfield, due to them having Everton’s former Manchester United player Andrei Kanchelskis in their line-up.

Both finalists, Germany and Czech Republic were predicted to go out in the group stages.

All three European competitions are reviewed ahead of their finals, and it’s a relatively bleak year for Italian football, with Parma (European Cup Winners Cup), Roma and AC Milan (UEFA Cup) all exiting at the quarter-finals.

Juventus are in the European Cup Final to face Ajax, in what is expected to be Gianluca Vialli’s last game for the club.

After Genoa beat Port Vale 5-2 at Wembley, Football Italia does a double page spread asking if the tournament should be scrapped.

James Richardson’s column previews Italy’s chances in England, noting that, for many Italians, the jury is still out on manager Arrigo Sacchi.

Ken Wolstenholme debuts his column, where he went to a Serie A game for the first time, Fiorentina v Juventus, where met the chairman of a London based Fiorentina Supporters Club, who are now on the internet, the link is posted by Wolstenholme.

As the magazine ends, the editor’s column focuses on the vacant England manager position, suggesting that the best contender is working in Serie A – Roy Hodgson of Inter Milan. It only took the FA 16 years to take his advice.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 21.12.1991

It’s Christmas 1991, and as bizarre covers go, this is up there, as Michaela Strachan is dressed as Cinderella, accompanied by John Fashanu and Vinnie Jones dressed as ugly sisters.

Let’s face it, if there was a role that suited John Fashanu and Vinnie Jones, it was that of panto villains.

The reason for this, was that Strachan was appearing in panto at a theatre in Wimbledon, so Shoot arranged for ‘The Fash’ and ‘Vinnie’ to do a photoshoot with her.

Strachan gets to the ball (a football, of course) after her feet fits into one of Fashanu’s football boots.

Modest as ever, Fashanu declares that he is good enough to play for reigning champions Arsenal, but that he wouldn’t be keen to play under George Graham’s style of management.

All you had to do to find more laughs, as Andy Townsend declares that he is good enough to play in Siere A. 18 months later, Townsend did leave Chelsea, but not for Italy ………….. to Aston Villa.

Townsend did make a valid point asking why so few British players are prepared to move to Mainland Europe, pointing out the struggles of Chris Waddle to get picked for England while playing for France.

The draw for the 1994 World Cup Qualifiers had just taken place, and Shoot covers this.

“England look to have been given a trouble free passage to the 1994 World Cup Finals” says the feature on England’s draw. Oh dear.

There is and end of year review, with a collage of all the front covers in 1991.

Stuart Pearce is subject of a player profile. The best ever Christmas present he received was a signed photo of the Marx Brothers. Something to bear in mind in case you’re buying a Christmas present in the future.

His ideal Christmas Number One was ‘No More Heroes’ by The Stranglers (Brilliant song, not my favourite Stranglers song, but still a brilliant song)

If he had to meet one person, it would be Hugh Cornwell, to ask him why he left the band. After one meeting with Stuart Pearce, I would imagine Hugh Cornwell would be quickly rejoining The Stranglers.

There is an advert for the following week’s edition, which comes with a free wallchart for the 1991-1992 FA and Scottish Cups.

Meanwhile, it was announced that England and Portugal were the only applicants to host Euro 96. It was also announced that the deadline for bids was put back, seemingly to allow Holland and Austria to apply. A footnote to this story was that England were favourites to host Euro 96, which could be the first European Championship to have 16 teams.

As it turned out, England hosted Euro 96, while Holland (co-hosts), Portugal and Austria (co-hosts) all hosted the next three European Championships after that.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 15th JUNE 1996

The two Paul’s, Ince and Gascoigne, are the cover stars of this edition, ahead of the eagerly anticipated group match between England and Scotland.

Scotland are represented on the cover with an image of John Collins. You may need a magnifying glass, but he’s definitely on the cover.

Five pages are dedicated to the match at Wembley, including interviews with Colin Hendry and Paul Gascoigne.

In rumour news, Christophe Dugarry is on the verge of joining Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn were keen on Bordaux players, having a year previously seen Jack Walker infamously veto any move for Zinedine Zidane, stating “Why do we need Zinedine Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?”

Portugese Brian May lookalike Paolo Couto was supposedly at the centre of a tug of war between Rangers and Manchester United.

John Collins is interviewed about his move from Celtic to Monaco. He is pictured with a massive grin on his face, possibly because he’s leaving Glasgow to live in Monte Carlo.

There is a poster of Craig Burley. The only poster Craig Burley should be on is a pro brushing your teeth advertising campaign.

Meanwhile, there is an advert for the Euro 96 video game, available on PC CD-Rom and Sega Saturn, with commentary from Barry Davies

Roy Hodgson comes in for praise from Paul Ince, who says that he help him through a difficult first season at Inter Milan, while also talking about racist abuse he has suffered at away games, as he weighs up wether to stay in Italy for a second season.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 11th MAY 1996

Ryan Giggs and Jamie Redknapp are the cover stars, as Shoot previews the 1996 FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Liverpool.

It was a big news week, as well as an FA Cup final, there was the small matter of the appointment of a new England manager, as Glenn Hoddle leave Chelsea for England, and Shoot give it a page with quotes from former team-mates wishing him well.

As part of the cup final build-up, Robbie Fowler gets a double page spread about his career so far.

With less than a month to go, the Euro 96 build-up gets underwear with a double page interview with Paul Ince about England’s chances and his partnership with Paul Gascoigne.

In rumours that look silly now : Aston Villa want to bring Dean Saunders back to the club, Arsenal want to sign Gary McAllister and Trevor Sinclair is a target for Newcastle, Blackburn and Man United.

Rangers, having just won their eighth successive title get a double page spread, with only a small amount of coverage being given to the fact that Rangers were now only one behind Celtic’s then record of Nine in a row.

Jimmy Greaves gives his expert cup final opinion, stating that Man United might win, Liverpool might win, or it might end up a draw.

After rating both prospective line-ups, he gives both teams a score of 91 out of 110.

To balance out the Robbie Fowler double pager, Ryan Giggs gets his own one ahead of the Wembley game.

The advert for the following week’s edition promises a Scottish Cup Final preview as well as free Euro 96 stickers by Merlin (Even though the official one was done by Panini)

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 6th MAY 1995

This edition sees us visit the end of the 94/95 season with Matt Le Tissier the cover star, as a campaign for him to be included in the England team gets into full swing.

The headline “TAKE MATT” is a pun on the popular mid 90s beat combo, Take That, who were riding high in the hit parade.

Meanwhile, Southampton defender Jason Dodd is featured in a player profile, where he declares that his dream babe is Teri Hatcher, and that he tapes The New Adventures Of Superman just to see her in it.

In competitions, you could win a pair of Mitre boots endorsed by John ‘The Hart’ Hartson. No, that nickname never really caught on.

In rumours that look silly now : Sheffield Wednesday want Bryan Robson to be their manager, Bournemouth will appoint Harry Redknapp if he gets sacked by West Ham, Celtic want to sign Marc Degryse and Gary McAllister is set to join Rangers.

The results section includes reports on Euro 96 Qualifiers where Northern Ireland beat Latvia, Wales drew with Germany and Scotland beat San Marino.

Matt Le Tissier gets a double page spread where stars such as Gary Flitcroft, David Linighan, Ian Bishop and David Howells plead his case. For some reason, Terry Venables ignored their calls.

Greavsies letters page is it’s usual brilliance.

Imagine if Twitter existed back then and Jimmy Greaves had an account?

Nathan Amery of Colchester suggests QPR would struggle if they sold Les Ferdinand. He joined Newcasle United that summer, and QPR were relegated in 1996.

Jeremy Dwyer of Birmingham, possibly an Aston Villa supporter says that Birmingham City would never get back into the top flight. For seven years, he looked right.

James Franey of Worcester says that if Blackburn Rovers get into the Champions League, they would struggle. He was right.

David Spencer of High Wycombe suggests that Tim Flowers should be England’s first choice keeper ahead of David Seaman. Hmmm.

Rangers seventh successive league title gets a full page, with captain Richard gough putting it down to regular boozing sessions. Innocent times.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 22nd JUNE 1996

This edition of the Magazine Archive sees us slap bang in the middle of Euro 96, as Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer adorn the cover of Shoot, giving the reaction to England’s 2-0 group win over Scotland.

The first four pages see two double page spreads dedicated to the game.

The rest of the magazine is dedicated to Euro 96’s other games with reviews and analysis.

Meanwhile Roberto Mussi says that Gianlunca Vialli, recently signed for Chelsea, will be a big star in English football.

It didn’t quite work out that way as the signing of fellow Italian Gianfranco Zola saw Vialli mostly used as a substitute, before becoming player-manager of Chelsea in February 1998.

Meanwhile, in Group D news, Turkey star Abdullah Ercan issues a “Come and get me” plea to English Premier League clubs. He never played in the Premier League.

THE SUMMER THAT ‘FOOTBALL CAME HOME’

In football, there are some teams who, when they are due to play each other, will generate excitement and anticipation amongst football fans.

England v Germany on Sunday is one such match. When you think of England and Germany, you inevitably think of 1990, of 1996, and even, of 1966.

The added spice to Sunday’s game, is how early in the competition it is. There’s nothing better in cup football, than a heavyweight clash in the early stages of the competition, between two sides who believe they can win the competition, but know they face an opponent capable of giving them an early exit.

For me, the clash between the two sides that I remember most is the European Championship Semi-Final in 1996, the 14th anniversary of which will come the day before the sides meet in Bloemfontein.

Looking back, Euro 96 was a competition and time I remember fondly. In 1996, i’d just turned 13, and had just had my first full season watching Linfield every week with my mates, and having a laugh, which I suppose you had to do, as Trevor Anderson’s bunch of expensively assembled misfits limped into mid-table obscurity.

Euro 96 was the first European Championship which had 16 teams competing in 4 groups of 4, meaning that you wouldn’t have major nations missing out like you did in the 8 team format.

There were two matches each day, with the first one kicking-off not long after four (can’t remember if it was quarter-past or half-past), meaning a quick run home from school to watch the first game, dinner, homework (I went to a school where the teachers gave you homework in June) and then watch the evening match with friends.

A combination of growing up but still being young, what felt like endless sunny days and what felt like the charts being dominated by acts like Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Space and Suede (Despite the fact that, in reality, the two biggest selling acts of 1996 were Spice Girls and Robson & Jerome) will forever have the summer of 1996, and it’s major football tournament fondly remembered in my mind.

Perhaps it is my mind playing tricks on me by remembering this event fondly? Maybe if I was 10 years older, i’d be fondly reminiscing about the 1986 World Cup? 10 years younger, and perhaps i’d be fondly remembering the 2006 World Cup?

There’s no denying that Euro 96 is an event which benefits generously from a rewriting of history. Outside of Wembley, and group games at Old Trafford and Villa Park, a lot of the games were played in half-empty stadiums.

I suppose this rewriting of history is a good example of how the English media cover international tournaments, where it’s all about England and nobody else matters, so consumed were they with what was happening in London, they didn’t even notice the empty seats in the North of the country.

With the tournament taking place during the school year, there was never any hope of me going over to this, and I really wanted to go.

Northern Ireland’s campaign was a spectacularly heroic failure, managing to finish unbeaten away from home, but out of the qualifying positions due to home defeats to Latvia, and most devastatingly, Republic of Ireland.

Despite that, me and a friend sat in front of the TV one Sunday afternoon in December 1995 for the draw, and gasped in disbelief as England and Scotland were paired together. Switzerland and Holland didn’t even get a mention as all the hype of the tournament centred around this game.

As with every international tournament, the morning of the opening game always makes me feel like an excitable child on christmas eve, counting down the hours and minutes until kick-off.

I watched the opening game of Euro 96, England v Switzerland, in the company of a half-Swiss friend, as England stuttered to a 1-1 draw against the Swiss.

Finally, the tournament was up and running and football had truly come home.

The following Saturday, was the big one, England v Scotland. Both teams were level on one point, and knew that a win would virtually guarantee qualifivation for the Quarter-Finals.

I watched it as a neutral, not really caring who won, just enjoying the fact that two British teams were going at each other, to put one over the other and retain local pride, for their fans, unaware that they were taking part in a major international competition, as ‘putting one over the other lot’ was all that mattered.

With England leading 1-0 with 15 minutes to go, Scotland win a penalty. Gary McAllister saw his shot saved by David Seaman, the resulting corner was cleared upfield, and the England counter-attack saw Paul Gascoigne make it 2-0 for England.

From having a chance to draw level, to going two goals down (or, from almost being pegged back level to going tow goals up, in the space of a minute) in the space of a minute, that’s how football can just mess with your emotions. That’s why people love it and hate it in equal measure.

Thankfully, being neither English or Scottish, I just sat and watched non-plussed.

Come Tuesday night, England were actually out-Dutching the Dutch and allowing a way back in for Scotland, as England’s 4-0 lead, combined with Scotland’s 1-0 lead over Switzerland saw Scotland in a position where they could qualify from a group stage for the first time in their history.

It was too good to be true, and it was, as a Patrick Kluivert goal for Holland swung the race for second place in their favour.

COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!!!! COME ON SCOTLAND!!!!!! I screamed at the TV, wishing one of the two would score a goal that would send Scotland through. It didn’t come.

England advanced to a Quarter-Final against Spain, where they triumphed, whisper it, on a penalty shoot-out. It’s strange, that when the media bring up England’s record in a penalty shoot-out, they never mention this game.

Germany had been very German in their progress, ruthlessly disposing of Czech Republic and Russia before grinding out a draw against Italy, a result which saw the Italians eliminated at the group stage.

In that match against Russia, the Russian manager came up with a brilliant excuse for his teams underperforming, that the home crowd at each ground they played at was against them.

Against Germany at Old Trafford, he claimed that United fans came out to cheer for Germany in protest against Andrei Kanchelskis sour transfer to Everton the previous year.

For their remaining matches at Anfield, he claimed Liverpool fans were cheering for the opposition partly because Kanchelskis was an Everton player, but mainly, because he was an ex United player.

France, also faced a hostile crowd in their matches at Newcastle, by Geordies angry at local favourite David Ginola being left out of the French squad.

After beating Croatia at Old Trafford, Germany had set up a Semi-Final meeting with England at Wembley.

You can tell how big a football match is, by how many people are talking about it, especially people who don’t usually follow or talk about football. In class that day, even the teachers were talking about the game.

The tournament organisers had arranged for both Semi-Finals to take place on the same day, one in the afternoon, another in the evening.

The first Semi-Final was a non-event as far as the English media were concerned, a mere warm-up to the main event.

To be fair, the game between France and Czech Republic hardly inspired the BBC pundits, sat in Wembley three hours before kick-off.

To the BBC’s annoyance, the game at Old Trafford went to extra-time, then penalties, then sudden death penalties, which the Czechs eventually won.

From there, it was a case of well done Czech Republic, almost dismissively, as their prize was to be runners-up to England in the Euro 96 Final.

The Germans couldn’t win, could they?

In truth, it would be very ungerman if they didn’t win. They always seem to have a knack of beating host nations and media darling teams.

It’s why I have a sneaky admiration for the German football team. Supporting Man United and Linfield, you get used to supporting “The bad guys”, the team everybody loves to see lose, which would perhaps explain my admiration for Germany.

The match kicked-off with clear skies over London. As the teams walked out in daylight, they knew that by the time the match would finish and that the sun would set, and the sky turn dark. For one of them, the sun would set on Euro 96.

I watched the game with friends, with excitement, not really caring who won, but just wanting it to be a memorable occasion.

England started on the front foot, and scored within three minutes. Alan Shearer, who else.

With 80,000 roaring them on at Wembley, and millions more in front of their TV, most teams would have crumbled under the wave of England pressure. Not Germany.

It was quite ironic that the scorer of the German equaliser be Steffan Kuntz (pronounced Koontz) whose name had made him the butt of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner’s jokes, should score the equaliser against the team riding on a crest of a wave soundtracked by Baddiel and Skinner.

At 90 minutes, it was 1-1, cue anything between 1 and 30 minutes of extra-time. Euro 96 was the first tournament to have the ‘Golden Goal’ rule in extra-time. It was basically goal the winner. A rule, from the school playground, was now being used to decide a European Championship Semi-final.

The two Quarter-Finals that used this were dour encounters, with both teams settling for a penalty shoot-out when the final whistle blew at 90 minutes, and shut up shop for half an hour, to make sure they got to penalties, and to conserve their energy for the shoot-out.

This one was different, as both teams went for it, to try and end it there and then. Both teams tried, but were just unable to.

As Gascoigne was unable to reach out enough to divert a cross-shot into the net, it was hard not to think about how all those England fans who’d mocked Carlton Palmer were thinking, as if it was his long legs reaching out for that cross, history would have been rewritten.

As the game went to penalties, there was an inevitability about the outcome.

Despite England scoring all of their penalties, the Germans did likewise. To expect the Germans to even miss just one penalty appeared to be asking too much. When England missed, the Germans were never going to let them out of jail.

We sat in front of the TV, just drained by the 120 minutes of football we had just witnessed. It was games like that which was he we had kickabouts in the street (and sometimes climbing into a local school), dreaming that we migth play in (and win) a match of that magnitude. None of us ever did.

In school the next day, was the same as the previous day, as the football dominated the conversation. The day before it was excitement of the match ahead, today, it was analysis and reaction of the match just passed.

At the end of that week, another school year was done and dusted, and a long summer awaited.

Was 1996 the summer that football came home?

Maybe not, it was just a line in a song which caught the mood of a period in time. But, my word, what a period in time.