History st.georges cross

Published on July 11th, 2018 | by Jasmine Evans

The Last Time England Made the World Cup Semi-Finals…

Hooray! England have smashed their way into the World Cup 2018 semi-finals, beating Sweden 2-0 in Saturday’s match.

The last time England made the semi-finals was almost 30 years ago in 1990. Whilst most of us will remember the proud yet heartbroken tears of Paul Gascoigne as the Three Lions lost to West Germany on penalties, most of us will not be able to remember a time without Google and Snapchat.

Things have changed a lot since then. Here’s a small flashback to England in 1990.

1.      There was no Wikipedia, Buzzfeed or Social Media

Life was certainly made easier when the biggest ever online encyclopaedia became available with just the touch of a finger. An invaluable source of knowledge and information, Wikipedia has been well received by audiences since its introduction in 2001. For students, information junkies, and those needing to read the plotlines to keep up with their favourite TV show, it’s difficult to imagine life without it.

It’s also difficult to imagine life without Buzzfeed to keep you entertained on your lunch break, or Instagram to share your daily life in pictures. In fact, social media altogether was non-existent in 1990.

2.      Top of the Pops ruled

In 1990, we would either be introduced to the latest hits on the television programme Top of the Pops, or we would use cassettes to tape the Official Chart Show on Radio 1 every Sunday night. We have since travelled through the dark ages of virus-catching, dodgy downloading to a world of Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music.

Here’s a Kylie classic from 1990.

3.      England was HOT

The heatwave of 1990 bares probably the only similarity between the two times when England made it to the semi-finals. In the summer of 1990, temperatures soared to a blistering 37.1C – similar to the 30C temperatures we are currently enduring in 2018.

4.      TV and film gave birth to some classics

Keep The Change You Filthy Animal

“Keep the Change You Filthy Animal” is arguably one of the most memorable quotes from any 90s movie. The phrase originated from the much-loved, mischievous Home Alone film, which debuted just in time for Christmas in 1990. Now classed as the most profitable festive flick ever, the tale of a boy left behind while his family flew to Paris proved to be an enduring family favourite.

As far as 1990 movie successes go, TV successes come close. In 1990, Matt Groening’s The Simpsons first made an appearance on our UK television screens. The American animated sitcom depicted life of a working-class family in the fictional town of Springfield. 28 years later, you can still sit down to watch it on All 4, Sky One, and Fox.


Who knows? With how great England are doing in the 2018 World Cup, we might actually see football coming home. 


To celebrate the England v Croatia semi-final, fans are replicating the look of England manager, Gareth Southgate, by choosing to wear waistcoats. The Waistcoat Wednesday campaign aims to raise money for the UK charity, Bloodwise, a blood cancer research charity. Those that opt in to wearing a waistcoat for the match are encouraged to share their look on social media using the hashtag #WaistcoatWednesday. Donations to the charity can be made here.

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