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|1996 European Football Championships Two Pound Coin|
A Celebration of Football
England - Birthplace of Football
A rudimentary form of football had no doubt been played in many corners of the world since civilisation began but it is with Britain that the origins, development and standardisation of football are most strongly identified.
The game had been played on Shrovetide festivities in England from at least the 1100's, played in the fields between neighbouring rural parishes or in the streets of towns and villages. These early matches were a football free-for-all with perhaps hundreds taking part, the objective being to carry a ball to one end or other of the town or village but because of the lack of rules and resulting "lawlessness" (nothing new there, then!) football was sometimes banned by royal decree. Hard and fast rules were called for and what was perhaps the most important breakthrough came in 1848 when, embracing the best features of their highly individual rules, representatives of Eton, Harrow, Winchester and Rugby met at Trinity College to hammer out the Cambridge Rules. It is from these that the modern game of football has evolved.
By the early 1900's organised tournaments were contested throughout Europe. The British Home International Championships were first played in 1883 and Scandinavian teams fought for the Nordic Cup from 1924. But it was Henri Delauney, the secretary of the French Football Federation, who in the mid-1950's proposed the European Championship. Sadly he died before the first competition got under way in 1958 but, fittingly, the trophy still bears his name.
In 1996, the year that England hosted the tenth European Championship, the Royal Mint struck a special £2 coin in celebration of football. The reverse design gives the impression of a football, an impression accentuated by the unusual dished or bowl-like effect. The special year of 1996 is highlighted amis the familiar pattern of the ball and there are sixteen small rings to symbolise each of the teams who will compete in the finals, held appropriately in the country that is home to football.
Stadiums (Should That be Stadia?)
Eight of England's oldest and most famous football grounds were chosen to host the finals of the European Championship.
Throughout their long histories, they have witnessed some great European matches and so their names are already familiar to football fans from all over Europe.
Fittingly both the spectacular Opening Ceremony and the Final of the 1996 European Championship will be held at the celebrated Wembley stadium.
Built as the centrepiece of the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley was opened to the public in April 1923. Its first sporting spectacular was the famous "White Horse" FA Cup Final and Wembley Finals are now part of the English national tradition. Phrases such as "the Magic of the Cup" and the "Road to Wembley" are clichés understood by football supporters everywhere and the ultimate dream of every footballer is to play on the turf of the greatest football arena in the world.
Wembley has indeed been the setting for some of the most outstanding moments in world football, not least on 30th July 1966 when Bobby Moore, borne on the shoulders of his team-mates, held aloft the World Cup itself.
A record forty-eight European nations competed in the tenth European Championship with England, as the host country, automatically taking part in the finals. The series began in 1994 and the fifteen qualifying teams came to England in 1996 to fight for the Cup in June.
|Group One||Group Two||Group Three||Group Four|
|Group Five||Group Six||Group Seven||Group Eight|
|Holland||Northern Ireland||Moldova||San Marino|
Triumph and Defeat
Like the World Cup the European Championship is played every four years. The tenth Championships began in 1994 and the preliminary matches undoubtedly witnessed all the tension and drama of the previous nine tournaments.
|Paris 1960||The USSR took the first European Nations Cup, establishing itself as a dominant force in European football.||USSR 2|
|Madrid 1964||In the final Spain beat the USSR, who until then had not lost a match throughout the entire Championship.||Spain 2|
|Rome 1968||Italy reached the final by winning the toss following a goal-less draw in the semi-final with the USSR and emerged as champions only after a replay.||Italy 2|
|Brussels 1972||West Germany roved the best European team in 1972, and, two years later, the best team in the world by winning the World Cup.||West Germany 3|
|Belgrade 1976||The 1976 final ended in a 2-2 draw but a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out gave Czechoslovakia the Cup for the first time.||Czechoslovakia 5|
West Germany 2
|Rome 1980||West Germany again became European Champions, having reached the final for the third time in succession.||West Germany 2|
|Paris 1984||France had participated in the Championship form the very beginning and appropriately took the title in Paris.||France 2|
|Munich 1988||In the semi-final Holland achieved their first victory over West Germany in more than thirty years and went on to celebrate their first ever major championship title.||Holland 2|
|Gothenburg 1992||Denmark were the surprising winners when, having initially failed to qualify, they were called upon to compete following Yugoslavia's withdrawal from the Championship||Denmark 2 Germany 0|
The specimen version is an uncirculated coin, but specially produced, and carefully handled and inspected. It comes packaged in an attractive and informative folder.
The Third Portrait
The obverse (head side) is the third major portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ralph David Maklouf, FRSA.
It came into use in 1985 and continued until 1996 inclusive, a total of thirteen years.
The reverse design by John Mills features a gently concave surface representing a football, with the date 1996 in two lines in the centre.
The designers initials, J.M. are visible at the top of the reverse.
The edge is milled and has incuse lettering:-
TENTH EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
|Version||Diameter||Weight||Alloy||Actual Metal Weight|
|Piedfort Silver Proof||28.40||31.96||.925||0.9505|
Notes to Table
Diameter = Diameter in millimetres.
Weight = Weight in grams.
Alloy = Fineness of metal content.
AMW = Fine metal content in troy ounces.
Prices & Availability
|If you wish to buy this product you will be redirected to www.chards.co.uk|
|1||£22.00||Call to check availability|
Piedfort Silver Proof
|1||£38.00||Call to check availability|
For the gold proof version, please see our Tax Free Gold website.
Postage & Packing:
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1996 Coin Sets
1996 Coins Index
Football Coins - World Silver Proof Crowns
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