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Mike Bassett's Famous "Four-Four-F*****g-Two" Press Conference Is Officially 20 Years Old

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Mike Bassett's Famous "Four-Four-F*****g-Two" Press Conference Is Officially 20 Years Old

Can you believe it? It has been 20 years to the day since Mike Bassett - a man considered by many as one of the all-time managerial greats - gave one of the most iconic speeches in film history. So let's go back and remember this memorable incident in full.

It's the morning after his unfortunate drunken incident and, after cameras caught him dancing on a bar half-naked while hurling abuse at Brazilian legend Pele, England manager Mike Bassett is expected to step down from his role with the national team.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I've had a long, hard think about the events of the last few days," Bassett announces in a press conference to the media. "And I've had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life to date. I've decided to carry on as the England manager."

Image: Mike Bassett: England Manager
Image: Mike Bassett: England Manager
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Image: Mike Bassett: England Manager
Image: Mike Bassett: England Manager

The news that he would carry on as England manager didn't go down well with the media, especially after captain Gary 'Wacko' Wackett was sent home for taking part in hooliganism and playmaker Tonka was accidentally involved in another drunken incident.

Results on the pitch weren't good either. A goalless draw against underdogs Egypt in their opening World Cup group stage game was hammered by fans. In fact, Bassett's son had his eyebrow shaved off by bullies at school the next day.

A harrowing 4-0 defeat to Mexico followed and, after Mike mixed flaming sambucas with anti-depressant before the infamous Pele incident at the bar, a press conference was called. "Mike, you have to realise that your situation is completely untenable." says one journalist, while another says it's surely time to step down.

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Bassett, however, doesn't give in and after a barrage of abuse from the media, he delivers this masterpiece.

A transcript of Mike's speech [If by Rudyard Kipling] can be seen below.

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

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If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

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Ladies and gentlemen, England will be playing four-four-fucking-two!"

Topics: Football, England, World Cup, Films

Jack Kenmare
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