THE summer of 1990 was a glorious time for football fanatic Paddy Beauchamp who went to extremes to ensure he would never miss an Irish match in the World Cup.
The keen runner from Baldoyle was racing at a charity event in Dundalk and while on the train back to Dublin that evening, realised that he may not see the match if he waited for the train to reach the city centre. So the daredevil decided to jump from a moving train.
"I made a split decision to jump off the train after it had left the previous platform," he told the Herald.
"I landed on stones and jogged the three miles back home. Opening the door my wife was appalled at my appearance with blood dripping down my face. But I made the match.
The father-of-two has run in 22 Dublin marathons and remembers the summer of 24 years ago as a golden age, not just for Irish football, but a wonderful time for the whole country.
In Italy in 1990, the Irish team, which had never qualified for a World Cup before, reached the quarter-finals and for three weeks the nation was gripped.
"It was just great news for everyone. I remember visiting my mother in Ballyfermot and the curbs were painted green, white and gold as well as the railings. That scene especially sticks out in my mind," said Paddy.
The 72-year-old watched the match with wife Phyllis in the Racecourse Inn in Baldoyle where he said it was "sacrilege" not to dress up in fancy dress or at least the country's colours.
And his favourite memory of the tournament? Packie Bonner's spectacular save in the penalty shootout against Romania to see Ireland make the quarter-finals.