‘Half-a-dozen Irish fans slept in our room at Euro 88’ – John Aldridge
IRELAND’s players have a good rapport with supporters – but it’s doubtful any of them would invite half-a-dozen fans back to their hotel room. However, that’s exactly what John Aldridge did in 1988.
The Ireland team, at their first-ever major international tournament, were narrowly knocked out in the group stages
in Germany, despite a historic victory against England.
However, buoyed by the whole experience, the players hit the town in Gelsenkirchen after losing 1-0 to the Netherlands.
“We had a right few bevvies, and I don’t remember much about the night, but I got up the next morning – I was sharing a room with Ray Houghton – and there was this sea of bodies
between us,” Aldridge said.
“They were all Ireland fans who couldn’t get a taxi back to where they were staying, so we brought them back to our room and they all slept in our room. There was about six of them in there.
“It epitomised everything that team was about,” he added.
The former Ireland and Liverpool striker (57) said the camaraderie between players and supporters ensured there were always crazy tales after a trip away.
“Every time we went away there was something hilarious that happened. It was a different class to be involved there at that time,” he said.
“Football is not what it used to be.
“We would have been able to go and have a pint and enjoy ourselves back then – we could mix with the fans,” he added.