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I still bear the scars of Turin: England fan recalls Italia 90 heartbreak

Peter Wood will be among the crowd but he said he is concerned about what happens if England lose.

For one England fan, the thought of witnessing another World Cup semi-final heartbreaker is almost too much to bear.

Peter Wood, 63, remembers the pain of Italia 90 all too well – a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to West Germany in Turin.

The Three Lions face another chance to reach the World Cup final for the first time since 1966 on Wednesday when they take on Croatia in Moscow.

England fan Peter Wood with a couple taking wedding photos in Red Square (Scott D’Arcy/PA)(

Mr Wood will be among the crowd but he said he is concerned about what happens if England lose, given the pockets of disorder at home when they win.

Standing in Red Square holding a St George’s Cross with Bristol City and the words “It’s the hope that kills you” emblazoned on it, he recalled his memories of 1966 and 1990.

“I’ve been to 12 tournaments, four finals, this will be my second semi-final,” he said.

“I still bear the scars of Turin.

“I was behind the goal when it ballooned off Paul Parker – that was tragic.”

Parker had rushed towards a German free-kick in an attempt to block it but instead, the ball looped off his shin, over Peter Shilton and into the net to give England’s rivals a 1-0 lead.

As for England’s finest moment, Mr Wood, from Nailsea, near Bristol, said he was just 11 years old.

“I had just come back from holiday and it was July 30 1966 and I thought we would win it every year,” he said.

“At 11, that’s what you think.

“I remember exactly where I was, sitting in my grandparents’ home watching it in black and white.”

But he said the celebrations then were more muted than those which followed England’s 2-0 quarter-final defeat of Sweden on Saturday.

He added: “We were a more reserved, cautious and entirely different nation.

“Now we’re a divided nation, united briefly for this expedition, this tournament.

“I’m fearful for what happens if we fail.

“The comedown for the country if we lose tomorrow night – they are on the sugar rush and there are some strange behaviours about which I think are unusual.

“We’ve got to deal with the aftermath, when the sugar rush ends.”

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