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England fans in tears, Wallace drops his 'Lanky' accent and a family of hamsters holed up under the the floorboards - Lancashire stories and pictures from July 1998

Pictured from left to right are Abbey Brooks, six, Jessica Bevitt, six, and Fabian Towers, seven, playing on the new donated play area at Higher Walton C.E. Primary School, near Preston
Pictured from left to right are Abbey Brooks, six, Jessica Bevitt, six, and Fabian Towers, seven, playing on the new donated play area at Higher Walton C.E. Primary School, near Preston
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Here's a selection of the stories that made the paper in 1998, along with a selection of your pictures:

It all ends in tears for England fans

Surely no-one out there still thinks that football is “just a game”.

Just watching the range of emotions that swept the faces of the hundreds of fans packed into Preston’s Adelphi pub dispelled that folly.

As England’s lionhearts bravely battled against cruel fate in their titanic clash with Argentina during the World Cup, outrage, shock, determination, joy, and ultimately unbearable tension and disbelief were etched on to every face.

The fans lived every moment. Powerless to help their heroes, they chanted and cheered anyway, willing the team on through every kick, every close shave and every dubious decision.

Many could not watch the penalties. Most peered fearfully through fingers. All were tortured by the tension and heartbreak as once again we were beaten by the hand of fate.

Shankly had it nearly right. Football is not more a matter of life and death , it is a metaphor for life and all its ups and downs.

But the supporters, many tearful, wending their way home were proud of the way their boys had stood up to be counted.

Wallace learns to talk proper...

Wallace and Gromit are having to learn the Queen’s English because their foreign fans can’t understand them.

The pals became worldwide stars after their animated antics clinched a pair of Oscars for their Preston creator, Nick Park.

But in a new video version of The Wrong Trousers, actor Peter Sallis has re-recorded the script with Wallace speaking Oxford English rather than with a Lancashire accent.

And Ballykissangel star Stephen Tomlinson narrates the plot to make sure Wallace’s northern twang is understood.

It means that some of Wallace’s most famous sayings have ended up on the cutting room floor.

The video is part of an English education programme put together by Oxford University Press.

Turning pet detective in the search for missing hamsters

The patter of tiny feet would be music the ears of Joanna Hunter and her boyfriend Tony - 28 pairs of feet to be precise.

Joanna’s hamster Rosy, who recently gave birth to 13 tiny babies, has disappeared down a hole in the kitchen floor, taking her offspring with her.

Father Sammy hamster meanwhile, has been left pining for his missing family who have failed to surface since going underground.

Problems began when a post-natal Rosy began biting her cage and a concerned Joanna allowed her out to roam around the living room at home in Penwortham, near Preston.

Boyfriend Tony accidentally opened the door allowing Rosy into the kitchen where she promptly disappeared through a tiny hole in the floor and has not been seen since.

In a bid to entice her fluffy pet out, Joanna left morsels of food and moved the cage containing the new arrivals close to the hole with the door open.

Joanna said: “When we got up we realised Rosy had come back for all the babies and taken them with her.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “The problem is when they live together they tend to kill each other.”