Bobby Robson’s England side had beaten Cameroon in the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy – thanks to extra-time and Gary Lineker’s two penalties.
Next up were Germany on July 4 and an extraordinary match which ended in penalties, defeat and Gazza’s tears.
It has been 28 years since those heroics – the last appearance in a World Cup semi-final for the Three Lions until Russia 2018. Here is a snapshot of England in 1990.
A little bit of politics
Margaret Thatcher had been in charge for 11 years by the time the World Cup in Italy kicked off. She had overseen some testing issues including the Falklands War and clashes with trade unions. However, Mrs Thatcher failed to see the year out and was replaced by John Major in November.
I am the music man
Elton John is a massive football fan – and he was at number one with the re-released Sacrifice (a double A-side single with Healing Hands). The record spent five weeks at number one in the UK, including when England took on Germany. The best-selling single of 1990 was Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, which leads us nicely into the next section.
Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, was the highest grossing film in 1990 while England were carrying out their Italian job. Other films of note released that year were Home Alone, Pretty Woman and Dances with Wolves (which scooped seven Oscars at the Academy Awards in 1991).
What about the weather?
A month after the World Cup finished in 1990 a heatwave hit. A Leicester weather station recorded the highest temperature ever known in Britain of 37.1C (99F) – one degree Fahrenheit higher than the previous record set in 1911. In 2003 Faversham in Kent broke this record with 38.5C (101.3F). Temperatures so far in 2018 have just been topping 30C.
Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be……
The popular show Stars In Their Eyes started in 1990 – but not with Matthew Kelly as host. Leslie Crowther was in the hot seat for the first three series. Other TV highlights in 1990 included debuts for Art Attack and Waiting for God, along with Countdown’s 1,000th episode.