I really started getting interested in football a year after 1966.
I was a small boy then and my family were not football fanatics, so England's victory on home soil passed me by.
I did not have the pleasure of the euphoria, of winning the tournament, i didn't understand what it meant to be "Champions of the World"
The next tournament Mexico 1970, we were beaten by the Germans and a poor tactical decision by the manager when the game was won, and maybe we could have gone on and given Brazil a run for their money in the final, as we ha in the group game.
VERDICT: managers cock up.
By the early 70's my dad had installed a colour TV in our house so me and a few mates watched as Brian Cloughs clown put paid to our 1974 qualification with a little help from Norman "bites yer legs" Hunter
VERDICT: Team and Managers cock up
Failure to qualify in 1978 meant it was 8 years since we participated in the greatest football tournament in the World.
VERDICT: FA's cock up for failing to appont Brian Clough
Spain '82 started off superbly with bryan robson scoring the fastest Goal in finals history after 13 seconds of our opener in France, a 3-1victory put the nation in a heathy mood, victories v Czechoslovakia and Kuwait saw us breeze through the group to face the old enemy, Germany and the hosts Spain
Could this be our year? A 0-0 Draw with Germany left us having to beat Spain, who had been humiliated by Northern Ireland 1-0 in the first group stage, to go through, with the return from injury of Keegan and Brooking albeit as subs, we couldn't fail could we.
Victory should have been ours as we missed a host of chances and bowed out of the competition.
VERDICT: But for injuries we could have been a contender
Having qualified for Mexico '86 without losing a game and putting 13 goals past the turks along the way (yes youngsters they were that bad back then) hopes were high.
A 1-0 defeat to Portugal, a 0-0 draw with morocco soon put paid to that as we needed victory v Poland to assure progress.
Captain Bryan Robson, sucummed to a shoulder injury and uncle fester threw the ball at the ref to join him on the missing list. With all hopes on Gary Lineaker he didn't disappoint blasting a hat trick to send us through, despite having fractured his wrist.
Paragury were next and easilt brushed aside 3-1, which then paired us with the argentines and that cheating dago maddona.
You know the rest, one handball one goal of genius and we were undone.
VERDICT: glorious failure
A few years later in what is now a Harvester in the Petts Wood area it used to be a bar called Sullivans, one night inside was Terry Fenwick.
I went up to him and asked the question "Why the fuck did you not kick maradonna up in the air instead of waving your leg at him when he scored that goal"
he smiled and said "i probably would have been sent off, and besides i couldn't catch him"
Lame excuse if ever i've heard one.
Next up Italia 90, would this be our year?
A piss poor draw with patrick in the opener, a much improved performance v the Dutch with 2 goals disallowed, but still ending 0-0 left us needing to beat the might of Egypt to go through, we did 1-0.
This was followed by a last minute extra time winner by David Platt v Belgium who had hit the woodwork more times than a lumberjack.
Then manager Bobby robson was reported to have told his players they had a bye to the semi finals when we were drawn against Cameroon.
After taking a 1-0 lead we then contrived to throw it all away as Cameroon went 2-1 up and looked like upsetting the odds. Up stepped Gary Lineaker who scored to goals from the spot, one to send it to extra time another to win it.
It was also reported that the players who were totally exhausted sat slumped in the dressing room afterwards and one looked up at manager Bobby Robson and said "some fucking bye that was boss"
The semi final v the Germans.
The first game we really played to our potential in this tournament.
To this day i cannot understand why a 40 year old lard arse keeper Peter Shilton was picked for this tournament, and as the german free kick deflected off Paul Parker and managed to loop over his head when he was 3 yards off his line it was hard to disagree.
Our saviour again was Lineaker who equalised, to send it to extra time, where we saw Gazza at his finest burst into tears as a booking put him out of the final then show how much it meant to him by trying everything he could to get us there.
The game finshed 1-1, Pearce, who never missed penalties, did, Waddle hit a vineyard somwehere in northern italy we were out they went on to star in pizza ads.
VERDICT: Glorious failure
USA 94 and a Graham Taylor led England with some of the most bizarre selections in an England shirt such as Carlton Palmer Keith Curle, and geoff thomas failed to get us across the pond to participate in the finals.
VERDICT: do we not like that!
France 98. The bigining of FIFA's "because of their hooligans We will ensure England do cannot win the world cup" era
fighting off the field made more headlines than the team on it as we beat tunisia 2-0 in the opening game, we then made it hard for ourselves with a 2-1 defeat to Romania before beating The celebrity sherbert makers 2-0 to set up a game v the argies.
Step forward FiFAs undercover agent with full instruction that England must go no further.
A Penalty by argentina was equalised by a penalty to England, neither were.
Micky Owen threw off his nappy to score a wonder goal before the argies equalised with a quality goal of there own.
Step foward then undercover agent who saw Beckhams tap on the back of the argies legs as an attack by a mad axeman and sent him off.
Had we blown it? Arsene Wenger who was commentating on the game for french TV repsonded with vigor when he was asked if Englands chance had gone. Non! he replied "now you will see the true English spirit and they will win this game"
And we would have done, Sol campbell headed the winner, but the undercover agent saw fit to disallow it.
penalties again. another defeat, a penalty missed by David Batty who'd never taken one in his life, don't blame him though blame the more senior players who melted.
VERDICT: glorious failure
2 draws with Sweden & Nigeria, revenge on the argies 1-0 set up a breeze v denmark 3-0.
now to Brazil. We could beat these couldn't we. 1-0 up then just before half time 2 powder puff tackles by beckham and scholes when row z would have done and it was 1-1
brazil went down to 10 men, then goofy scored and because he was a brazillian it was deemed genius, when in fact it was a mis-hit cross that goalkeeper Seaman should have dealt with.
Manager Eriksonn's luck with women failed to manifest itself on the pitch and were out.
VERDICT: beaten by a lucky bastard
2 wins v Paraguay and the might of Trinidad and Tobago, then a 2-2 draw with sweden saw us through the group, and set up a game with Ecuador who we beat 1-0.
Now for the portuguese.
Step up FiFAs undercover agent 2. and the odious gay boy chrissy ronaldo.
Rooney sent off, for sod all, and again the curse of penalties AGAIN!!!!
VERDICT: why do we bother.
South Africa: 2010.
Here we are then with great anticipation, the hopes of the nation upon their shoulders, the players will today take to the field v the USA.
How will this campaign end.
Well if the past is anything to go by it will be thus.
A draw today v the USA will be followed by another draw V Algeria.
The final group game we will have to win and will do so 2-0.
We will then be paired with a team we should beat comfotably and we will giving us all hope that we can win the thing at last.
We will then play a team that will go one to make the final in the best game of the tournament, have Gerrard sent off, a stonewall penalty turned down at 2-1 down, equalise in the last minute then go out 4-3 on penalties.
Or this might just be our year.