DO NOT be surprised to hear Emile Heskey’s name being sung at Wembley on Tuesday night.
The Three Lions cult hero managed just seven goals in his 62 caps.
Emile Heskey grabbed himself a goal as England stuffed Germany 5-1 20 years ago[/caption]
But he entered England folklore when he made it 5-1 against Germany 20 years ago.
His old mucker Michael Owen had already scored a hat-trick, while Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard also blasted a banger.
But it is the memory of Heskey racing on to Paul Scholes’ pass and finding the corner, before celebrating with a DJ record-spin and a golf putt, that best summed up that mad mauling in Munich.
Supporters have chanted ‘Five one and even Heskey scored’ to the tune of the Village People’s Go West ever since and will no doubt power it out ahead of the last-16 clash with the Germans.
Heskey, 43, said: “Wherever I go in the world, I always bump into an England fan who will say they know exactly where they were when that game was being played.
“That just fills you with joy because it’s a memory that everyone cherishes and I was a part of for a whole nation.
“I did that 20 years ago and 20 years on they’re still chanting my name. It’s not a bad thing!”
That goal in 2001 immortalised Heskey in England’s footballing history.
EURO 2020 FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
Most read in Football
ENG IT TO WIN IT
England have DREAM route to Euro final… if we beat old rivals Germany
France injury CRISIS as Lemar and Thuram hobble out of training in latest blow
Rooney to host Man Utd Class of 92 legends as Derby draw Salford in Carabao Cup
England fans launch petition for Southgate to bring back iconic waistcoat
STEAK THEIR CLAIM
Lingard, Martial & Young head for break at Salt Bae's Mykonos restaurant
England in Covid scare at Euro base just days after Scotland positive
A DVD was even made of the game, which the former Leicester and Liverpool striker has a copy of — although he claims he never watches it.
Gareth Southgate’s squad have a great opportunity to make themselves legends at these Euros, with their side of the draw about as kind as it gets.
First, they will have to beat Germany, who, despite some patchy recent form and an unconvincing group display, Heskey still feels will be a tough nut to crack.
He said: “With a German team of old, you know exactly what you’re getting — powerful engines.
“You think of German technology and that’s the team — something that goes and goes, never stops, works and looks good.
“Now they’ve got a new generation that are finding their own feet. They’re in transition.
“But it’s still a German side. I don’t think they’re ever going to lie down and say, ‘We’re not as good as England’.
“England should take the best things from themselves, know they can go out there and beat this Germany side with their tactical know-how, the management and the players showing on the pitch that they can perform under pressure and that they are the better players.”
Heskey would favour England switching to a back three of Harry Maguire, John Stones and Tyrone Mings against Germany, with Luke Shaw and either Reece James or Kieran Trippier as the wing-backs for their delivery.
He feels Southgate will stick with two-goal Raheem Sterling as well as his two holding midfielders.
It means that if they do revert to three centre-backs, it is likely to be a shootout between Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka for that last spot behind Harry Kane.
Heskey added: “Jack set up the goal against the Czech Republic and was fantastic.
“But Saka has given them a dilemma. He showed a fearlessness, he took people on and that’s what we’ve been begging for.”
Whatever Southgate goes for, Heskey agrees that Tuesday’s encounter is a landmark moment in the England manager’s reign.
Michael Owen grabbed a hat-trick for the Three Lions[/caption]
It was a memorable night for the travelling England fans in Munich[/caption]
No one expected the Three Lions to make the World Cup semi-finals three years ago but now many are pointing out how favourable the draw was in that tournament.
England have hardly set the Euros alight but have done what was required.
Beat a big-hitter like Germany, though, and people will begin to believe.
Heskey, who played with Southgate for England, added: “It’s a huge game for his legacy. Get through this to the quarters and the semis.
“That’s massive for Gareth because you’re not saying he’s taken an easy route — he’s beaten Germany.”
Heskey knows just what that feels like.
- EMILE HESKEY is working with Weetabix, the official breakfast cereal of the England national team and proud partner of Weetabix Wildcats, an FA football programme for five to 11-year-old girls. Enter the Win With Weetabix on-pack promotion to win a range of fab football prizes. www.winwithweetabix.co.uk
Get ALL of the latest England news and updates from Euro 2020
Jack Grealsih will be desperate to kep his starting spot alongside goalscorer Raheem Sterling[/caption]