This chapter centres on international football and cricket, as well as their limited yet powerful performances of English nationhood during direct competitions with the sporting styles of other cultures. It first studies the cultural meanings of three well-known sporting events: the Adelaide Test Match against Australia, the English football team's defeats by Hungary, and Paul Gascoigne's tears in the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup. It then addresses the questions of masculinity, style and modernity that arose from these contests. The chapter also incorporates wider cultural conflicts about colonial politics and English self-perceptions in domestic games that are structured through social and economic difference.
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