And there to watch it at Wall Street in Preston were these fans, who had quite a night!
Terry Venables' side had produced a truly thrilling display in their final group game and now had an ever more enthusiastic nation behind them.
Their momentum was checked by a well-organised Spanish side, however, with only the spot-kick heroics of Stuart Pearce and David Seaman enough to take them past Javier Clemente's charges and into the last four.
No one had played a more pivotal role in England's resurgent tournament than Alan Shearer, and Spain were all too aware of the threat posed by the burly, yet mobile striker.
Immediately gifted little room in which to work, Shearer made a rare escape into space on four minutes but his fierce shot was well stopped by Andoni Zubizarreta.