England have given us a summer to remember

As I write this, it's baking hot outside and the nation is still buzzing from the amazing victory over Sweden in the World Cup Quarter-Final game.

Thursday, 12th July 2018, 5:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:43 pm

As you read this, that game must seem ages ago now as last night (Wednesday) we played Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup, the first time we had reached this far in the competition since 1990!

I am hoping that when you read this on Thursday or Friday, we will still be in the competition and looking forward to our first World Cup final since 1966, wouldn’t that be amazing?!

However, even if we were beaten by Croatia, I am still immensely proud of the England team, not just for the manner in which they have played, but also how they have conduced themselves off the pitch.

In the past, it’s always felt to me that some of the players were more concerned about their image, than actually knuckling down and playing a game of football. There didn’t seem much spirit in the teams post Euro 1996, but now it feels like a lot more than just football is coming home. There’s pride, passion and inspiration for a whole new generation of football fans who’ll remember this summer for many years to come.

Players carry a huge responsibility on and off the pitch and Gareth Southgate has been fantastic with his cool head and professional manner, you can see this in the players across the team, especially in the captain Harry Kane.

I lost interest in the fortunes of England and know I wasn’t alone, but their performance in the World Cup has been inspirational and I am so glad that my scepticism at the start of June has now evaporated in the summer heat and been replaced by real excitement about what the new young lions will produce for England in the future.

So, no matter what the result in the semi-final, you’ve done us proud boys and I might even have to go out and buy a waistcoat in honour of Gareth Southgate!

One thing is for certain, none of us will forget the summer of 2018 for a very long time and not just because of the weather.

:: Follow me on Twitter @stumcginley

:: Hear McGinley in the Morning – weekdays 6-10 on Spirit FM