The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship ('Euro 2012') - Europe's quadrennial football bonanza was held in Poland and the Ukraine between June 8th and July 1st. Occurring between Elizabeth II's Diamond jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic Games, the eyes of the media were fixated on the pride and joy of English football, its men's national team. With national consciousness at an all-time high, articles in England's tabloid, 'red-top,' daily national newspapers The Sun and Daily Mirror were tracked for three weeks as they lavished their attentions on the national pastime. Their coverage of the English team reflected a heightened consciousness of English national identity. Drawing on Guibernau's strategies for creating and uniting citizens around a collective national identity, this study examined how England's popular media presented and represented England's national identity to reflect the real and imagined versions of Englishness during this major sporting event.1 By focusing on The Sun and Daily Mirror's narratives about, and images of, the English team during the Euro 2012 tournament, this paper focuses on how English national identity ebbed and flowed during a time of seismic change within the country. Shaped by an inductive textual analysis, this paper shows how the press fluctuated between optimistic notions of the present and future English national identity and traditional 'olde England' in an almost formulaic fashion. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
- national identity
- Euro 2012