Monday 23 January 2017

We need to have faith and believe . . . then everything is possible

Published 24/06/2016 | 02:30

Irish fans display a banner before the win over Italy. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes
Irish fans display a banner before the win over Italy. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes

Today, I wish to publicly apologise to my country, for last night as Robbie Brady rose like a salmon over Leixlip to head the Irish winner, I was in my bed fast asleep. I have followed my country through thick and thin for decades. I remember my debut at Lansdowne Rd in 1977, when Liam Brady scored a winner against France and I was thrown into the air by my father. I was so happy.

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That was the beginning of the love affair with Irish football. I can't believe it is nearly 40 years. I remember the lean Eoin Hand years when we nearly qualified, but didn't, then Jack Charlton took over and it seemed like we qualified for everything. Germany in '88, Italia '90, USA '94, and then Mick McCarthy took us on a voyage of discovery to Japan and South Korea.

It seemed Irish football grew up at the same time as I did. We grew up together and I have always kept the faith. But last Saturday it seemed to change.

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