Hope springs eternal in the human breast, and it was with hope rather than expectation that I ironed my England shirt this morning in preparation for tonight’s vital match against Ukraine, in Ukraine.
In the event there was no phone call from the England manager, so I’ll have to settle for a seat on the bench in my front room as Rooney, rather than me returns for the 3 lions.
Even so, spare a thought for the miserable lives of many Ukrainians, who suffered the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in 1986, killing more than 10,000 and affecting the health of millions of others.
Looking back to the second world war, more than 5 million Ukrainians died fighting Nazi Germany, which killed most of Ukraine’s 1.5 million Jews.
Stalin also deported 200,000 Crimean Tatars to Siberia and Central Asia following accusations of collaboration with Nazi Germany.
And for good measure approximately 7 million peasants perished in the man-made famine during Stalin’s collectivisation campaign.
After all this misery Ukrainians need something to cheer about.
But not tonight, please.