Teddy Sheringham looks back at his favourite England game and an 'incredible summer'

We hear from former England striker Teddy Sheringham on his birthday, in the first of our new series, My Favourite Game, presented by Bud Light...

Thursday 02 Apr 2020
Teddy Sheringham scored England's fourth in a 4-1 win over the Netherlands at UEFA EURO 96

It was a performance that was instantly hailed as England's finest since the 1966 World Cup Final win. 

A 4-1 victory over the Netherlands in front of a euphoric Wembley crowd on 18 June 1996 kick-started a wave of support across the nation for Terry Venables and his team.

Teddy Sheringham scored twice on that famous night as the Dutch were beaten in thrilling fashion and here he reflects on a memorable UEFA EURO 96 summer that confirmed England had a team to be proud of once again.

Teddy Sheringham
  • England caps: 51
  • England goals: 11
  • England debut: v Poland on 29 May 1993
  • Final England appearance: v Brazil on 21 June 2002
"There was a lot of negativity around the team in the build-up to EURO 96," said the former Millwall, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United man, who collected 51 caps.

"We had what became an infamous night out on the pre-tournament trip that became a big story in the newspapers, but in many ways, that incident brought the squad together. 

"It felt like we had a few people on our backs and we wanted to respond to them, so maybe it worked in our favour.

"The first game against Switzerland didn't go as we would've hoped as we drew 1-1 and we were not at our best in the next match against Scotland either.

"But we found a way to win with David Seaman's penalty save from Gary McAllister and Gazza's (Paul Gascoigne) famous goal, before we had the final group game against a strong Dutch side.

The starting line-up Terry Venables opted for against the Netherlands

"There was always a feeling in the squad that we could do well in the competition, with home advantage such a massive factor and everything just clicked that night. 

"The dream for any footballer is to get picked to play for their country and after that, you want to play in a major tournament.

"Then you want to do well in that tournament and the feeling we all got from that night against the Netherlands was fantastic.

"None of us had been a part of a win like that for England against a top side and the same was true for the fans, so you could feel the mood lifting as the goals went in.

"I scored with a header from a corner for the second goal and got our fourth after the keeper didn't hold on to Darren Anderton's shot.

"The noise at Wembley that night was incredible. The 'Football's Coming Home' song had caught on with the fans and we all felt that team could go on and win the tournament. 

"Oh, and the funniest part of the whole game was that when they scored a late goal to make it 4-1, it meant the Scots went out of the competition at the group stage on goal difference. You have to smile at that." 

It wasn't to be for England in the end as they scraped through the quarter-final stage with a penalty shootout victory over Spain following a stalemate at Wembley. 

That set up a famous encounter with old rivals Germany in the semi-finals - a game that ultimately ended up becoming more memorable than the group stage win Sheringham looks back on so fondly. 

After Alan Shearer had given England an early lead, Stefan Kuntz equalised and with no golden goal in extra-time, the game went to penalties.

The first ten spot-kicks were converted, including one from Sheringham, but Gareth Southgate's sixth was famously saved, opening the door for Andreas Möller to send Germany into the final. 

But despite the heartbreak of missing out on a first major final in 30 years, Sheringham remembers the experience as an 'incredible summer' and for his partnership with Shearer.

"I'm often asked to pick the best striker I played with and my answer is always two," he said. "Firstly, I go for Jurgen Klinsmann at Tottenham and then Shearer. They were two world-class footballers and players I developed a great understanding with both of them on the field.

Shearer and Sheringham celebrate together during the game

"Shearer and I clicked when we played together for England and I remember our manager Terry Venables standing by Alan when he didn't score for a few games in the run-up to the finals. 

"Terry was a fantastic communicator and knew how to get the best out of players and that's one of the reasons why that England team went so close to winning a trophy for the nation.

"It wasn't to be in the end, but it was still an incredible summer to be an England player."

Presented by Bud Light

By Tom Dean