SIMON CARTER: Southgate and Co have made us fall back in love with England

It wasn't supposed to be like this, was it? 
Hilda Ogen left Coronation Street on Christmas Day, 1987

WORLD CUP COLUMN: This brings us together more than the Royal Family do, or Hilda Ogden leaving Corrie ...

So here it is, the day some of us have waited ten thousand two hundred and thirty four days for.

Gareth Southgate

WORLD CUP COLUMN: Gareth Southgate’s biggest victory so far ....

Memo to football. If you are coming home, it’s best to avoid Monday mornings on the M27 between Hedge End and Whiteley, you’ll be stuck in traffic and you’ll get annoyed and frustrated.

Eric Dier sends England through to the World Cup quarter finals by converting a penalty against Colombia

WORLD CUP COLUMN: ‘I know that was then, but it could be again’

Taxi firm: Hello, can I help you?

WORLD CUP COLUMN: The bizarre story of qualifying for the 1950 finals in Brazil

WORLD CUP COLUMN: The bizarre story of qualifying for the 1950 finals in Brazil

Football has never been more popular as a global sporting phenomenon.

Harry Kane celebrates scoring England's winner last night

WORLD CUP COLUMN: England already a vast improvement on some previous World Cups

Here’s a statement which might surprise you, depending on whether your World Cup glass regarding the England national team is half full or half empty.

England manager Gareth Southgate

WORLD CUP COLUMN: Thirty six years on, when WILL we get it right?

I can still remember the first England game I ever watched at a World Cup finals tournament.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo applauds after the group B match between Portugal and Spain at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) PPP-180615-213015001

WORLD CUP COLUMN: The dazzling statistics that keep on getting better

His statistics are truly phenomenal, and they keep on getting better and better.

David James is currently managing Kerala in the Indian Super League

WORLD CUP COLUMN: Ex-Pompey duo aiming to raise standards in a cricket-mad country

Here’s a fact - if the World Cup final was contested by the two most populated nations at Russia 2018 then Brazil would play Nigeria.

Simon Carter's (fully completed) Espana 82 album and the current Russia 2018 album (not started!)

WORLD CUP COLUMN: The rising cost of completing your Panini sticker album

THE 21st World Cup starting in Russia this afternoon will be the biggest ever, and the financial implications are immense.

Radio presenter Rick Jackson has worked for the biggest stations in the south PICTURE: Allan Hutchings (084710-538)

RICK JACKSON: Say goodbye, Wave hello

Can you remember what you were doing on this day in 1998? I can. It was the day radio wars came to the south coast.

Pompey youngster Alex Bass made his league debut against Peterborough on Saturday

A display from youngster to offer Pompey optimism

It was nice to sign off with a win full of positives.

Will these clashes return next season? Pompey v Saints in 2012.

RICK JACKSON: My £100 bet that Pompey/Saints derbies will return next season

My bet is still on. Hampshire derbies to return next season!

England's triumphant under-17s pose with the World Cup as they arrive back at Heathrow Airport

RICK JACKSON: Our young stars now need Premiership and Champions League time under their belts

Once again England are football world champions! Congratulations to the under-17s who beat Spain 5-2 in the final last weekend in India, despite being 2-0 down.

Running for Hollie: from left, Cheryl's husband Matt Kingston,'Shaun Nichols,'Steve Grant, 'Del Button and 'Hollie

CHERYL GIBBS: Running for Hollie – I’m so proud of my family

It was an emotional day for everyone. But for one little girl – my beautiful niece Hollie, it was the show of support and strength that made this year’s Great South Run.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend

RICK JACKSON: Will Hamilton pip Froome for title?

I’m pretty sure my 40th celebrations didn’t last two months, like my wife’s seem to be. It’s the birthday celebration that keeps on giving!

Members of the GMB union protesting outside Purbrook Park School

CLIVE SMITH: Union protesters should not be hanging around outside school

Protesters from the GMB union are still causing a nuisance of themselves outside Purbrook Park Secondary School.

Hopes dashed - Freshwater Bay in the Isle of Wight.

ELISE BREWERTON: A valuable first life-lesson for my new niece

Early last Wednesday a beautiful bright pink baby girl arrived and her mum, my wonderful little sister Nicole, named her Valentina Elise.

Britain's Chris Froome celebrates after winning the Spanish Vuelta in Madrid. The special trophy he holds was given to him as he won both the Tour de France and La Vuelta. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

RICK JACKSON: Arise Sir Chris – knighthood is long overdue for cyclist

Surely one of the most deserved knighthoods will now be bestowed on Chris Froome?

Not the most ideal garb for a cross-Solent swim...

ELISE BREWERTON: It’s function over fashion so the bikini’s gone

I finally invested in a ‘proper’ swimming costume for my big swim to the Isle of Wight for Samaritans.

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