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It’s 20 years since the ‘dentist’s chair’ & some genius is ‘livetweeting’ Euro ’96

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Dave Fawbert
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Do you remember what you were doing 20 years ago? Yes, that's right, you were getting excited about Football Coming Home, with the 1996 European Championships about to be held in England.

Except we weren't very excited at all.

Granted, Three Lions had just been released, promising an end to 'thirty years of hurt', but hopes for the team were not especially high. With no competitive games due to qualifying as hosts, a series of friendlies had seen consecutive 0-0 draws against Colombia and Norway (the former only enlivened by Rene Higuita's legendary scorpion kick) and further stalemates against Portugal and Croatia. Meanwhile, star striker Alan Shearer had not scored in 12 games, going goalless for fully 21 months in an England shirt.

On 26 May, the team's preparations reached their nadir, as a pre-tournament trip to play a Hong Kong 'Golden Select XI' saw them sneak a drab 1-0 win before being photographed out at a club, with Paul Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham strapped into dentist's chairs, having booze poured down their necks.

Naturally, the tabloids had a field day.

But weeks later, it was all different, as the team roared back, with the turning point a 2-0 win against Scotland - where Gazza and Sheringham recreated the 'dentist's chair' for a famous celebration - to lead England to within a whisker of their first major final since 1966, playing stylish, attacking football throughout.

So many memories, so many twists and turns - and, brilliantly, someone has set up a Twitter account to 'livetweet' the whole thing.

So if you're in for some nostalgia alongside the current tournament, follow @euro96revisited immediately.

Here's the story of the Hong Kong match so far:

Roll on 15 June...

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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