There is a real battle going on the for the soul of our nation. And it always seems to rear its head when our nationality in is focus.

I was told that ‘Being English does not mean you ARE English.’ This week Raheem Sterling inspired us to a win against Germany. But people were quick to point out that many of the front pages featured Harry Kane or Prince William. No fault of theirs of course. Kane for all his efforts had not been playing well at all and this was proof that the wider media were ‘embarrassed’ of celebrating the diversity within the England squad.

Earlier in the campaign we have had concerns about people booing the ‘taking the knee’ gesture.

Much of this distracts from the actual issue at the heart of everything. Why should I support a country who does not want me around? Or why should I be cheering on a nation who will when this is all over revert to calling me out for not being English enough? And why do some people cheer a diverse English team and then a few days later post a racist comment?

I say these points to be open and honest. As an England fan since the eighties and having followed them from one disaaster to the next, I share in much of these feelings of disenchantment. I get angry and upset when I hear the rubbish being spouted before and after a tournament.

Then why do I live a life of hypocrisy and support a football team with so much passion and vigour when I know I could pop out of the door and get called a ****?. Who would be so stupid?

It is far too easy to say I am just a football fan.

We are nation that is like no other but at the same time I do not think any other European nation is as accepting and welcoming as this country. In fact, I would go as far as to say we are in many respects far more tolerant than some nations in the Middle East.

Yes, it may not seem that way at times with all the bile and filth that is shared on online.

I am also more than likely to get people defending me if the comments against me become racist and derogatory. Moreover, people will go to great lengths to ensure that they challenge the discriminatory attitudes without ever being asked to do so. This is what makes us English.

It might not be something we like to celebrate or speak of very often. We don’t do it because it leads to accusations that we are not taking the issues at the heart of the nation less seriously. That we are in some appeasing them.

Yet it makes sense to say these things at a time like this. It is important that we we do so. After all regardless of colour, religion or background we are English and we are British. End of debate.