LES PAYNE: God Speed them all when they play England!

Gary Speed: Sure to get a great performance from Wales tomorrow.  Picture: Nick Potts/PA
Gary Speed: Sure to get a great performance from Wales tomorrow. Picture: Nick Potts/PA
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IS England the most hated sporting nation on Earth?

Why is it that teams seem to go extra-special, gut-busting, eyes popping out, when they take on a team wearing whichever logo it is... three lions, red rose etc?

Or is it just a historical case of nobody likes the English. Certainly not our neighbours?

There aren’t too many guarantees in sport but I can bet that our UK neighbours, and a few others, put tons more into it when playing England than any other nation.

Anybody who ever went to Hampden Park would know the fire and fury blowing from those Scottish nostrils and how much they desperately wanted to down the English.

Ok, they might have slumped to a dismal 1-0 defeat to the Welsh the week before but you would find the same set of players unrecognisable when they turned out against the Sassenachs.

There’s a recent parallel with their rugby team.

They were a load of softies and virtually rolled over against Wales. Then they turn up a Twickenham and would have tackled a tank!

Look at the Irish rugby players last weekend. How fired up were they? They were virtually in a rage. Talk about motivation and commitment. And all because it was England.

You can put your last penny on Gary Speed’s Wales looking a totally different outfit tomorrow to the one that has struggled in the Euro 2012 qualifying group so far.

When they’ve belted out the national anthem with passion and fervour a plenty at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow, they’ll be giving it absolutely everything for the next 90 minutes. Look at cricket’s World Cup. Ireland beat us and Holland nearly did so. Ireland didn’t do much else and Holland were totally rubbish after that.

Mind you, I’m not sure why Bangladesh would have a special reason to beat us.

I know what - it doesn’t make it much fun watching England in games like the one tomorrow. Anything could happen and may well do so. Then just watch Wales in their next game!

It seemed a wonderful gesture and an appropriate one for all those Rotherham United fans who suffered at the B2net Stadium last Friday. There it was, on the Millers website over the weekend and into Monday... “Chesterfield Refund” was the heading.

Well, what an act of generosity. Giving the entrance money back to their fans who suffered so much watching the 5-0 defeat.

“Any supporters”, it said, “wishing to return a Chesterfield ticket, must do so by 3pm today as no refunds will be given after this time.”

In touch with their fans eh? But then I saw the small print... it was dated Friday, March 18th, the day of the game!