Seldom has the gap between national expectation and actual achievement been so wide as in the case of England's hapless football team . . . Don't Mention the Score is the tragic-comic story of how one small nation tried and failed to dominate world football. Littered with fouls, sendings-off, and more than a handful of off-the-ball incidents, Don't Mention the Score is a hilarious and often exasperating journey through England's 135-year history of footballing underachievement. It features a cast of cheating Argentinians, phenomenally boring but metronomically reliable Germans, and dreamily gifted Brazilians - all of them itching to hand out a technical masterclass in one-touch football to the recreation-ground clodhoppers of Olde Englande . . .
In November 1872 England played Scotland in Glasgow in the world's first official international football match. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Home internationals excepted, England remained haughtily aloof from international football for decades. When they finally deigned to compete in a World Cup they were stuffed one-nil by . . . the USA. Four years later, in a match described by one England player as 'like playing people from Outer Space', they were beaten 6-3 by Hungary. In 1966 a Soviet linesman who'd had it in for the Hun ever since he copped a bullet at Stalingrad took pity on England and helped them win the World Cup. But since then it has been downhill all the way.
In the rumbustious style of his bestselling Stiff Upper Lips and Baggy Green Caps, Simon Briggs charts England football's rare highs and all-too-frequent lows. Embellished with some 75 black-and-white photographs, and incorporating more than 100 of the wittiest and most wounding quotations about footballers past and present, Don't Mention the Score is the perfect gift for any football fan, from eighteen to eighty.