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English Football Fans Hope for Repeat of 1966 World Cup

  • Catherine Drew

Sign supporting England's World Cup Team

Sign supporting England's World Cup Team

Forty-four years after winning the football (soccer) World Cup tournament on home soil, England fans are preparing to support their team again in South Africa. The fact that it has been so long since an England victory pains many fans and the lack of a victory is known as "44 years of hurt".

The flags are up, the banners are out. Millions of England fans are ready for the World Cup tournament to begin.

This year, the squad, under the focused leadership of manager Fabio Capello, could have a chance of lifting the World Cup.

But the team has had problems. A late knee injury means Captain Rio Ferdinand won't be able to play.

He had replaced John Terry, who was embroiled in scandal after reports that he had had an affair with another player's girlfriend.

Some players also have made headlines at home for their private lives.

But scandals and injuries have not stopped fans from hoping this could be their year. At a send off party for those traveling to South Africa, many are still keeping the faith.

"I was actually at the World Cup final in 1966. I was very young, so I can remember the atmosphere. We go through the years and the tournaments since then hoping to emulate 1966, and it's usually disappointment all the way so hopefully this year is going to be the year," one fan said.

Many nations are hopeful their team could lift the world cup, however some England fans are desperate to see their team relive its historic victory of 1966.

Broadcaster Mark Pougatch has just written a book about England's World Cup attempts through the years. "We are a football mad country and yet that doesn't quite tie in with what we've achieved in World Cups. We've had one glorious moment in 1966. Other than that, if you have a look at it, we're about a quarter-final nation, that's what's in our DNA when it comes to World Cups," he said.

Now it is a case of waiting to see how the England team performs, and crossing fingers that the 44 years of hurt could soon be at an end.