SOCCER chiefs in England have expressed delight their players will be cheered on by Irish fans this summer.
With Ireland failing to qualify for the World Cup, more than a quarter of Irish adults will support Roy Hodgson's men when the tournament kicks off in Brazil on June 12, according to a survey.
Traditionally, the Green Army has been in the 'anyone but England' camp but the research reveals a change in mood.
"That's brilliant to hear. Half of my family are Irish," FA spokesman Danny Lynch told the Herald.
"It's great to hear that so many Irish fans will be helping support the lads in Brazil and it's something we wholeheartedly appreciate."
Research carried out by Amarach shows the Green Army will divide its support among a number of nations.
England, with Wayne Rooney (above) leading their charge, will be the biggest beneficiaries, with 28pc of Irish people supporting them.
Spain is the next most popular, with 16pc indicating their support for the world champions, while Brazil and Germany were tied at 9pc.