THE England football team has admitted that a fierce sense of national pride is only good for about three-quarters of an hour.
Players who took part in last nights thrilling 0-0 draw with Ukraine said they take to the pitch all fired up about Shakespeare, Churchill and Kate Moss but then run out patriotism towards the end of the first half.
Captain Steven Gerrard said: “At first we were keeping each other going with shouts of ‘Stephenson’s Rocket!’ ‘The abolition of slavery!’ ‘Isambard Kingdom Brunel!’
“But as half-time approached, we’re down to things like Fray Bentos pies, Homes Under the Hammer and the 24-hour Toby Carvery in Shenley Church End, Milton Kenyes.
“And by the second half, after Roys team talk about Last of the Summer Wine, out-of-town retail parks and Fishermans Friends, it was all we could do not to kick the ball into our own net.”
Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: “Most of us are patriotic for a few minutes a year, at most, so we imagine that its more powerful than it is.
“The truth, as professional athletes have discovered, is that dwelling on England for any longer than that leads to thoughts of queuing behind a Transit van on the M6, of the wind whipping an empty Londis carrier bag through a multi-storey car park and winning an out-of-date tin of biscuits in a tombola.
“Greg Dyke is right – England must not win the World Cup.”