England's performance in their opening game at Euro 2012 against France featured much of the same: grit over guile, technical ineptitude, laboured legs and St George's flags galore. Except the incessant racket of the England band.
Having sprung up after Euro 96, the Pukka Pies-sponsored sextet were denied entry into the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, missing their first game in 18 years.
And good riddance, many have said. Endemic of the nu-fan culture which has contributed to football's malaise, the band have been accused of killing the atmosphere in stadiums over countries and continents for over a decade.
They have however said they will be making "an official representation to Uefa" over their exclusion on Monday evening.
“We will be doing everything that we can to make sure that the band take their rightful place at the England versus Sweden game in Kiev," their statement read.
Twitter, however, revelled in their absence:
UPDATE: The exclusion was owed to a security "cock-up rather than a conspiracy".
The Football Supporters' Federation said: "Our information is that there was no ban as such on the England band. In fact, their access to the stadiums was pre-agreed before the tournament – but this information was evidently not filtered to the stewards on matchday.
"We have been assured that the band will be allowed into the remainder of England’s matches at Euro 2012. It was a cock-up rather than a conspiracy."
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more