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1996 at a glance

An English driver won the world formula one world championship, The English Patient won an Oscar but the English would lose on penalties again as Germany tasted EURO success again.

Alan Shearer in action against Spain at EURO '96
Alan Shearer in action against Spain at EURO '96 ©Getty Images

Football fever swept England as, in the first 16-team European Championship, the hosts swept the Netherlands aside on the way to another semi-final penalty shootout with Germany. The Czech Republic, in their first tournament since their independence, stormed all the way to the final but Oliver Bierhof, and a golden goal, would ensure that there would be no second successive surprise winner of this tournament and that Germany would claim an unprecedented third European crown.

Winners: Germany
Runners-up: Czech Republic
Semi-finals: England, France
Quarter-finals: Spain, Netherlands, Croatia, Portugal
Group stage: Switzerland, Scotland, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Russia, Denmark, Turkey

Top scorers: Alan Shearer (England) – 5

Did you know?
Germany overtook the Soviet Union's record by reaching a fifth final and secured an as-yet unmatched third European title.

Also in 1996
European Champion Clubs' Cup winners: Juventus (1-1 aet, 4-2 pens v AFC Ajax)

European Footballer of the Year: Ronaldo (PSV Eindhoven/FC Barcelona)

Eurovision Song Contest winner: Eimear Quinn (Republic of Ireland) singing 'The Voice'

ESM Golden Shoe winner: Zviad Endeladze (FC Margveti Zestafoni)

Nobel Peace Prize winner: Bishop Carlos Belo & José Ramos-Horta (for work towards peace in East Timor)

Men's Olympic 100m champion: Donovan Bailey (Canada) running a world record 9.84

Formula One world champion: Damon Hill (United Kingdom) driving a Williams

Oscar for Best Picture: The English Patient

Key events
8 January – Former French president François Mitterrand dies, aged 79

5 July – Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland

15 November – Tomb Raider is released for the PC, Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, spawning a series of sequels and movies.