When Football Came Home is the story of the 1996 European Championship played out in England – the centrepiece of a momentous and unforgettable second summer of love.


Michael Gibbons’ book is full of memories and details of the tournament and insights into the times, analysing the lasting impact Euro 96 had on English football and the nation.


For the first time this is the full, unfiltered and unabridged account of Euro 96.

  • England’s story is comprehensively covered – from conceding to amateurs after 8.3 seconds in 1993 to a penalty miss that inspired a pizza advert nearly three years later.
  • Along the way the story takes in a riot in Dublin, a less than normal anaesthetising while in a dentist’s chair in Hong Kong and an infamous Cathay Pacific flight back to London.
  • The rich tales of the other competing nations are all told – including Italy being humbled by their own hubris, Croatia seducing the Continent and the laid-back party people of the Czech Republic who came within 17 minutes of an extraordinary triumph.
  • This is a snapshot of English football just as it began to morph into a global phenomenon.
  • The vibrant sense of optimism sweeping the country in 1996 is recreated here.
  • It covers not just England but Englishness, that curious cocktail of war obsession, class, history and competing inferiority and superiority complexes that finds its outlet in the national side.
  • Read how the Germans ultimately left England with their first trophy as a unified nation, a remarkable win laced with schadenfreude.


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from When Football Came Home.