Saturday 3 December 2016

Houghton and Hunt wave off Green Army as fans set out on Euros odyssey

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 10/06/2016 | 02:30

Irish fans Gabriel Curtis and Paul Brooks. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Irish fans Gabriel Curtis and Paul Brooks. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

Former Ireland heroes Ray Houghton and Stephen Hunt were swept up in the excitement at Rosslare Harbour as the amphibious regiment of the Green Army boarded ferries for France.

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The former Ireland internationals wished the fans well as legions of Irish supporters got ready to sail to the Euro 2016 finals.

"Irish fans believe in their side and that's really important when you're a player," said Houghton, who joined Hunt and former Ireland manager Brian Kerr at a Boylesports 'bon voyage' party for supporters in the harbour terminal.

"They love their team and enjoy themselves and they'll give the lads the support they need," said Houghton.

"They've a 17-hour journey ahead of them on the ferry but the party atmosphere will continue."

Stephen Hunt owns the Tides pub in nearby Rosslare Strand.

Fran and Antoinetta Kearns with their daughter Kelly and Brian Dukes set off for France from Rosslare. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Fran and Antoinetta Kearns with their daughter Kelly and Brian Dukes set off for France from Rosslare. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

"I'm looking forward to the games on television. I've put up a marquee at the pub so I'll be watching as a fan."

Nine Dubliners named 'The Green Tigers' arrived in a converted van. Driver Paul Hamilton (50), a plumber from Crumlin, said his group got great support from local firms.

His friend Gabriel Curtis (52) from Woodstown Village, Knocklyon, said they raised funds for the Ronald McDonald charity before they left.

However, the Republic of Ireland camper vans were outnumbered three to one . . . by those full of Northern Ireland supporters.

Ray Houghton and Stephen Hunt were at the port. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Ray Houghton and Stephen Hunt were at the port. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

Irish Independent

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