17 August 2022, The Tablet

Taking England’s Lionesses on tour

Extra time

Taking England’s Lionesses on tour


I'M JUST BACK back from a wonderful time travelling around Europe. I was accompanied by my wife and our dog. His name is Tito although while we were in Croatia, anxious not to cause any offence, he went by the name of Toto. I also had with me, naturally, my mobile phone on which I had a video of a passage of play in the semi-final of the women’s Euros football. I used this video to spread the gospel of England’s fabulous victory and to advance the cause of women’s football generally. I can’t tell you how much satisfaction this gave me.

A morning coffee with a Serbian friend of mine in Croatia, Slobo, was typical. His knowledge and appreciation of sport is phenomenal. From his home on an island in the Adriatic he has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening everywhere on the sporting planet. He congratulated me, for example, on West Brom not losing their opening match of the season. And he was aware of England’s triumph in the Euros but without, I felt, being quite up to speed on how brilliant we’d been and how much the women’s game has come on.

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