It’s Mercato di Mundial time again, and we’ve got a bloody corker for you this week: The Official England Squad Medal Collection, 1998.
Anyone old enough to remember dial-up internet, or to know the subtle difference in flavour between ‘Sunny D Florida’ and ‘Sunny D California’, is in for a shot of pure, concentrated nostalgia, directly into the memory region of their brain with this item. Back in 1998, in the lead up to the World Cup in France, Sainsbury’s issued this medal collection, made up of silver, 2p-sized coins, each depicting a member of England’s 1998 squad on one side, and the Three Lions emblem on the other. It’s a full collection, they’re all there: Shearer, Beckham, Scholes, Cole, Adams, Batty, Hinchcliffe… the lot.
It’s not just a medal collection, though. There’s some good reading in this, including a foreword from Glenn Hoddle, explaining his vision for tactical cohesion throughout all age groups of the national side, and thanking the fans for their support on that fateful night in Rome—the one with Incey’s head bandage. There’s a photograph of Graham Le Saux wearing Gianfranco Zola’s number 10 shirt from that same game. Honestly, it’s just a class football artefact. Enjoy it, cherish it, put it in a well-lit glass cabinet.