DVD: One Night in Turin (15)

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The Independent Culture

In the cash-fragranced aura of the modern game, it's easy to forget that English football, before the revolution, had become the nation's most embarrassing stench.

The Eighties had been the high-water mark of hooliganism, at home and abroad, reaching its dreadful pinnacle at Heysel Stadium in 1985 and resulting in a ban on English clubs in European competition that had helped to foster an archaic and lumpish style on the pitch.

In this sense, James Erskine's neat, emotional documentary One Night in Turin manages to be an effective historical document as well as an engaging retelling of England's dramatic progress towards an unforgettable semi-final with West Germany during the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Yet it's still the iconic footballing footage that really hits home: David Platt's bug-eyed celebrations after scoring the winner against Belgium; Gary Lineker's steely nerve from the penalty spot (twice) against Cameroon in the quarter-finals; the jinking emergence of the precocious Paul Gascoigne and those famous tears in Turin.

The real hero of the piece, though, is the England manager, Bobby Robson. Lambasted mercilessly by a startlingly cynical press both before and during the tournament, he's remembered here – rightly so – as a man of incredible dignity and compassion.

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