A – Audience More than 150 million are expected to see each game for this summer’s tournament.

B – Belgium The Belgians were the surprise package of 1980 where they reached the final only to succumb to late heartbreak at the hands of the Germans. It was the beginning of their Golden Generation with such fine players as Gerets, Vandereycken and Ceulemans (arch playmaker Enzo Scifo arrived on the scene a couple of years later) all bolstered by the best keeper in the world at that time Jean-Marie Pfaff.

C – Coming home The song may now grate through familiarity but it should never be under-estimated how incredible the sight and sound of a packed jubilant Wembley belting out Baddiel and Skinner’s hit was after England’s spot-kick triumph over the Spanish. I know they can play cos I remember….

D – Denmark Whereas the giant-killing Greeks of 2004 saddened all with their stultifying approach the Danes unlikely triumph 12 years earlier delighted the continent. Firstly there was the fairytale back-story – after failing to qualify there was a dramatic last-minute eligibility due to civil war breaking out in Yugoslavia which meant the players had to be hastily assembled from various beaches. The Danes’ coach Richard Nielson was famously redecorating his kitchen when the news came through. Then there was their opponents in the final – Germany. Lovely.

E – Euro? On June 8th Russia will begin their Euro campaign against the Czechs despite 77% of their land mass residing in Asia.

F – Format The tournament has expanded incrementally since its inception in 1960. First there were just four teams, a pair of semis then a final system that persisted until 1980 where the competition doubled to eight nations. This doubled in size again in 1996 and in 2016 it will increase further to 24 teams. Conceivably there will soon just be the Faroe Islands and Malta missing out.

G – Greece Arguably the biggest upset ever in a football major tournament was the triumph of little-fancied – and even lesser liked – Greece in 2004. The 100-1 shots twice beat host nation Portugal – first in the group stage and then in the final – but their brand of negative, nullifying football won them few admirers.

H – Henri Delaunay He of the Henry Delaunay Trophy held aloft in triumph by Netto, Gullit and Platini down the years.  The Frenchman was the first General Secretary of UEFA who first came up with the idea of the tournament.

I – Injury We may be currently sweating over the availability of Barry and Parker but this pales to England’s injury woes of ’92. With a turnip in charge who had already wilfully over-looked Adams, Beardsley, Waddle and Ian Wright what little quality we had left were all painfully absent due to a variety of woes. Gazza was still out from the previous year’s cup final lunge, John Barnes had a ruptured Achilles tendon whilst superb right-back Rob Jones pulled out at the last minute as too did classy centre-back Mark Wright. Is it any wonder we were torn apart by Sweden and co?

J – Jensen When Arsenal bought John Jensen from Bronby in 1992 Gooners must have thought they were getting a goal-scoring midfielder based on his fantastic low drive that sealed Denmark’s dramatic win during that summer. Instead the outspoken Jensen became a terrace cult figure largely due to his abject inability to find the back of the net. He finally did on his 98th appearance prompting t-shirts that are still seen outside the Emirates today – ‘I saw John Jensen score’.

K – Kiev This year’s final will be held at the 65,400 capacity Olympic Stadium. Following a costly upgrade it was reopened in 2009 with a Shakira concert. Naturally.

L – Lev Yashin The Black Spider was the outstanding performer at the first European Championships (then known as the European Nations Cup) held in France in 1960. A typically brilliant display in the final ensured that the USSR became the inaugural champs although it must be noted there were only four teams participating.

M – Magic Square The glorious French midfield foursome of Platini, Tigana, Fernandez and Giresse secured their countries first ever major tournament on home soil in 1984. In doing so Le Carré Magique went down in football folklore https://www.thedaisycutter.co.uk/2012/03/cest-magnifique-frances-magic-square/

N – Nutmeg England’s opening fixture in 2000 throw up a fascinating duel between the youth and experience of Liverpool’s midfield. Early in the game 20 year old Steven Gerrard, winning only his second cap for his country, turned Didi Hamann then had the audacity to switch directions and flick the ball through his club team-mate’s legs. The ref may as well have blown up then and there; the game was won. Gerrard later revealed that a subsequent crunching tackle on Hamann left the German ‘screaming like a girl’.

O – Oliver Bieroff In the 1996 final at Wembley the German striker settled matters against the Czechs with a 95th minute strike. In doing so he became the first player to score a ‘Golden Goal’, an experiment that was thankfully soon after fazed out.

P – Penenka pen 1976 brought the introduction of penalty shoot-outs and what an introduction it was. With the spot-kicks at 4-3 to Czechoslavakia against Germany in the final up stepped Antonin Panenka to potentially complete a famous victory for his nation. Legendary stopper Sepp Maier stood between the wily midfielder and immortality and similar situations have often since reduced the great and the good to jelly. Panenka however was a maverick. An innovator. He had a plan.

We may now be used to witnessing this penalty technique but back then no-one had ever seen the like.

Q – Qualifying Since 1980 when the tournament expanded to eight teams England have only failed to qualify on two occasions – in 1984 and 2008. Ironically in ’84 our under 21s won their equivalent. You should have trusted the youth Bobby.

R – Record appearances Peter Schmeichel holds this honour with a total of 14 from four consecutive tournaments.

S – Seven Hat-trick heroes throughout the tournament’s history. Of these – Muller, Allofs, Platini, van Basten, Sergio Conseicao, Kluivert, and Villa – Platini stands alone as the only player to have bagged two.

T – Toss of a coin Those who believe that penalty shoot-outs are an unedifying way to settle matches should remember the 1968 semi-final between Italy and the USSR. After 120 goal-less minutes the official called over both captains. USSR captain Albert Shesternyov called it wrong and everyone went home. Dismal.

U – Undisputed champs Ten countries have won it but Germany are the undisputed Euro kings with three victories.

V – Van Basten He may have been later ravaged by injury depriving us, at just 27 years of age, of an unique and wonderful talent but we will always have that volley.

W – Willem van Hanegam If Marco the Great represented all that was exhilarating and magisterial about the Netherlands their previous generation – the true originators of total football – confounded in the Euros. This is best illustrated by a bad-tempered semi-final in 1976 against Czechoslavakia that resulted in three players being dismissed. After sending off one apiece from each team Welshman Clive Thomas considered abandoning the game after being left with little choice but to send van Hanegam packing for continual dissent.

X – x-rated Trailing 1-0 with just minutes left in a 1968 semi-final clash with Yugoslavia Alan Mullery became the first England man to ever see red when he reacted to a vicious challenge by kicking his opponent in the nuts. Makes Beckham’s world cup exit for a flick of a leg look even sillier.

Y – Yugoslavia Twice beaten finalists during the 60s where they gained the nickname of the ‘Brazilians of Europe’.

Z – Zozulitsa The Ukrainian penny whistles that the authorities hope will replace the hated vuvuzelas in the stands. They are said to have a pleasing sound. We remain sceptical.