DAVID BADDIEL, comedian: Yes, more than almost anything else, even more than things happening in Bosnia. That sounds terrible I know. But as I watched England go out I become incredibly aware of the fact that I will be 33 before they can play in the World Cup again, and my youth will have vanished.

SIR STANLEY MATTHEWS, football veteran: I am sorry, it was something to look forward to. I didn't expect to be disappointed at the very beginning, but I expected it on the display they gave in Wednesday's game. I was thinking of going over to Boston, I've lost my enthusiasm. I'll probably watch it on television now.

DAVID ICKE, ex-footballer: No. This nationalism stuff which manifests itself in football is something that I wish we didn't have. I don't care if it's England or Outer Mongolia as long as the best side goes through.

HELEN LEDERER, comedian: Oh dear, that's made me laugh - first laugh I've had all day. I would be a liar to say that my day was ruined. I was pleased that Ireland got through, though.

DAVID MELLOR, MP: I do care because I'm keen on football and because people dislike seeing our team humiliated - whatever they think of football they like Britain to do well. Maybe the time has come for a United Kingdom team. One's got to take a constructive view.

AMANDA BARFORD, teacher: No. It would be more of a tragedy if the great Dutch players like Marco van Basten and Bergkamp weren't playing because England had qualified. The England players are mediocre, apart from Gascoigne who's not at his best. England need a period of restructuring. I've transferred my allegiance to the Dutch.

JANET REGER, lingerie designer: I do care, yes. I feel sad and very disappointed. We pride ourselves on being a footballing nation. It would have been nice if we'd been there and if we'd won it. I'll probably still watch it.

MARTYN LEWIS, newsreader: I do, because I think it would have been a great excitement for the nation, but I'm a rugby man so perhaps I don't care as much as I should.

GEOFF WIGHTMAN, sports promoter: Personally, professionally and as a citizen of this country it's a damn shame. If we can't reach the upper rung of the ladder in our national sport it's bit of a sorry day.

FRED HOUSEGO, LBC presenter: I wouldn't cross the street to see a game of football.

(Photograph omitted)

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