Missed penalties, hooliganism, red cards, It's A Knockout and that Gazza celebration

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

While the Euros have not delivered any success to these islands they have given us memorable moments aplenty. Glenn Moore takes a look at tournaments past

European Championships do not conjure the same memories as World Cups, but perhaps that is because, whatever their name, format and size, there has been one constant for more than half a century: British and Irish teams have consistently failed to make an impact. While Germany have reached six finals, winning three, England have twice reached the semi-finals, once as hosts. The Republic of Ireland and Scotland have each made an eight-team finals once, and Wales, like Ireland, reached the quarter-finals when they were staged on a two-leg basis. So though Paul Gascoigne, Ray Houghton and Wayne Rooney have had their moments in the finals, for the men who go to Ukraine and Poland this summer history is there for the making.

1960 Hosts: France
Final USSR 2-1 Yugoslavia
Player of the tournament Lev Yashin (USSR)
England Did not enter
Republic of Ireland Did not qualify (DNQ)

The Republic of Ireland's Liam Tuohy scored the first goal in the new European Nations' Cup, but the Irish also became the first to be knocked out, beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Czechoslovakia in the only preliminary round tie. The Home Nations, like Italy and West Germany, declined to enter but 17 countries did. A knock-out qualifying competition climaxed in a four-team finals hosted by France. The communists of the USSR, who had been given a walkover in the quarter-final as the fascist General Franco refused to let Spain play them, beat Yugoslavia 2-1 in front of 17,966 in Paris. England may not have entered, but Arthur Ellis, later to gain fame refereeing TV's It's A Knockout, officiated.

1964 Hosts: Spain
Final Spain 2-1 USSR
Player of the tournament Luis Suarez (Spain)
England DNQ
Republic of Ireland DNQ

Unlike Scotland, England deigned to enter, but lost to France in the first round. The second leg, Sir Alf Ramsey's debut as manager, was lost 5-2. Spain, having knocked out both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the quarter-finals in qualifying, were chosen as hosts. Franco had to allow the USSR in, and was one of 120,000 who saw Spain defeat the holders 2-1 in the final. Referee Arthur Holland remains the last Englishman to appear in the competition's final.

1968 Hosts: Italy
Final Italy 2-0 Yugoslavia (replay, after 1-1 draw)
Player of the tournament Dragan Dzajic (Yugoslavia)
England SF
Republic of Ireland DNQ

The competition was renamed as the European Championship and groups introduced for qualifying. The Home International Championship served as one of them. World Cup winners England, despite losing at home to Scotland, qualified, then beat holders Spain (who had topped the Republic of Ireland's group) home and away to make the finals. In a pre-penalty shoot-out age the hosts Italy won one semi-final, against Russia, on the toss of a coin. England lost to Yugoslavia in the other, Alan Mullery unluckily becoming the first player dismissed on England duty. Italy won a replayed final 2-0.

1972 Hosts: Belgium
Final West Germany 3-0 USSR
Player of the tournament Gerd Müller (West Germany)
England DNQ
Republic of Ireland DNQ

Ireland gained one point in qualifying while England dropped only one. In the quarter-finals, however, they were outclassed 3-1 at Wembley by Gunter Netzer's West Germany, then drew in Berlin. Belgium, having knocked out holders Italy in the quarter-finals, hosted the last four in which West Germany cruised to victory against the USSR in the final.

1976 Hosts: Yugoslavia
Final: Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany (Czech won 5-3 on pens) Player of the tournament: Anton Ondrus (Czechoslovakia)
England: DNQ
Republic of Ireland: DNQ

Wales, under Mike Smith, made the last eight, going out 3-1 to Yugoslavia who then hosted the last four. Don Revie's England were put out by Czechoslovakia who went on to beat West Germany in the final. This was settled by a penalty shoot-out remembered for Anton Panenka's winning chipped spot-kick after Uli Hoeness had blazed high into the Belgrade night. Incidentally, the majority of the winning XI were Slovaks.

1980 Hosts: Italy
Final: West Germany 2-1 Belgium
Player of the tournament: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany)
England: Group stage
Republic of Ireland: DNQ

The finals were expanded to eight teams with hosts chosen in advance. England were drawn with Northern Ireland and the Republic, prompting the first all-Ireland meeting. The Dublin leg, in front of 55,000, was goalless. Northern Ireland then won in Belfast through a Gerry Armstrong goal, but by then England had the group secured. England's opening match in the finals, a draw against Belgium in Turin, was marred by serious hooliganism. Ron Greenwood's team then lost to Italy before winning a dead rubber against Spain. Belgium, inspired by veteran Wilfried Van Moer, reached the final but there they were beaten by two Horst Hrubesch goals.

1984 Hosts: France
Final France 2-0 Spain
Player of the tournament Michel Platini (France)
England DNQ
Republic of Ireland DNQ

For the first time since 1960, when only the Republic entered, no British Isles team made the last eight. Allan Simonsen's penalty was enough to earn Denmark victory at Wembley and the Scandinavians a place ahead of England.

Wales also missed out by a point while Ireland came third in a group won by Spain from the Dutch after a 12-1 defeat of Malta in the final game. With Simonsen suffering a broken leg in the opening game of the finals it was Michel Platini who dominated with nine goals, including two hat-tricks, as France won all five games.

1988 Hosts: W Germany
Final Netherlands 2-0 USSR
Player of the tournament Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
England Group stage
Republic of Ireland Group stage

Holders France failed to qualify, but Republic of Ireland, managed by England World Cup-winner Jack Charlton, reached their first finals. They marked their debut with a 1-0 win over Charlton's native country, Ray Houghton scoring the only goal in Stuttgart. For England it got worse, Marco van Basten bewildered Tony Adams in scoring a hat-trick against them, then the USSR beat Bobby Robson's team 3-1.

The Irish needed a draw against the Dutch to progress, but Wim Kieft's 81st-minute header put them out. The Netherlands went on to beat hosts West Germany in the semi-final and, with a Ruud Gullit header and stunning volley by Van Basten, the USSR in the final.

1992 Hosts: Sweden
Final Denmark 2-0 Germany.
Player of the tournament Thomas Hässler (Germany)
England Group stage
Republic of Ireland DNQ

Denmark became the eighth and most surprising winners after being summoned late to the tournament when UN sanctions barred Yugoslavia.

England had qualified by a point from Republic of Ireland and were joined by Scotland in their first finals. England's campaign is remembered for Graham Taylor's substitution of Gary Lineker, in his final international, and the subsequent Sun headline: Swedes 2, Turnips 1.

Craig Brown's Scots at least won once, against the CIS (as the USSR, initial winners and four-times finalists, were then known). Though held by England, Denmark concluded with wins over France, the Netherlands (on penalties), and, with a rare John Jensen goal, Germany in the final. So much for preparation.

1996 Hosts: England
Final Germany 2-1 Czech Republic
Player of the tournament Matthias Sammer (Germany)
England SF
Republic of Ireland DNQ

Football "came home", with a 16-team tournament, and England came closer than usual to ending "30 years of hurt" (now 46, and counting).

The Republic lost a play-off at Anfield, to the Dutch, but Scotland qualified, only to lose to an England inspired by Paul Gascoigne, who recreated the "dentist's chair" with his memorable celebration. Terry Venables' fluent team then despatched the Dutch, 4-1, and edged fortuitously past Spain on penalties, only to be beaten in the 12-yard lottery by Germany in the semi-finals – Andreas Möller winning it after Gareth Southgate's missed penalty.

Germany beat the Czechs with Oliver Bierhoff's second of the final, and first title-deciding "golden goal".

2000 Hosts: Belgium & Netherlands
Final France 2-1 Italy
Player of the tournament Zinedine Zidane (France)
England Group stage
Republic of Ireland DNQ

The first joint tournament had two distinct flavours – fine food and ale and old-fashioned policing in Belgium; a party atmosphere and liberal law enforcement in the Netherlands. Ireland again lost in the play-offs, to Turkey.

England beat Scotland in a play-off to qualify, but then stank the place out. On the pitch Kevin Keegan's team beat a German side that was even worse but still failed to qualify, while off it hooligans misbehaved in Brussels then rioted in Charleroi. The Germans went home to overhaul their entire coaching structure, England simply carried on as before.

Back in the Low Countries the Dutch, after scoring 14 goals in four matches, lost their nerve in the semi-final against 10-man Italy, missing two penalties in the scoreless match and three in the shoot-out.

In the other semi-final Portugal lost their heads after France beat them with a 117th-minute golden-goal penalty. Long bans for manhandling officials ensued. Italy led in the final, but missed chances allowed Sylvain Wiltord to level in the last minute before Juventus-bound David Trezeguet won it with a golden goal.

2004 Hosts: Portugal
Final Greece 1-0 Portugal
Player of the tournament Angelos Charisteas (Greece)
England QF
Republic of Ireland DNQ

Teenager Wayne Rooney shone, but was then injured as, for the fourth tournament in eight, England went out on penalties, to Portugal.

The glory went, most unexpectedly, to Greece, who defeated the hosts in the tournament's first and final games. They scored seven goals in six matches as veteran German coach Otto Rehhagel turned a bunch of reserves and relative nonentities into a tight, well-organised unit.

Wales and Scotland both lost in play-offs, to Russia and the Netherlands respectively.

2008 Hosts: Austria & Switzerland
Final Spain 1-0 Germany
Player of the tournament Marcos Senna (Spain)
England DNQ
Republic of Ireland DNQ

Two hosts, 16 teams but none from the British Isles despite the Scots beating France home and away in qualifying. England finished third behind Croatia and Russia, spelling the end for umbrella-holding Steve McClaren, giving rise to the "wally with a brolly" nickname.

In a rain-hit Alpine tournament, Spain, after years of flattering to deceive, won their first title since 1964, the prolific (back then) Fernando Torres scoring the only goal of the final.

Semi-finalists Turkey were the comeback kings, even beating Croatia (on penalties) after going behind in the 119th-minute. A notable feature was the number of Brazilian-born players involved, from finalists Marcos Senna (Spain) and Kevin Kuranyi (Germany) to Deco and Pepe (Portugal), Eduardo (Croatia), Mehmet Aurelio (Turkey) and Roger Guerriro (Poland). The European Championship was now global.

Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit