Who's your favourite player? Without hesitation, most of the children and the adults said our captain from Donegal, Seamus Coleman.
So, as the sun beamed down on the Aviva Stadium last night, there was a tinge of disappointment in the air that the Killybegs man wouldn't feature, and won't for the foreseeable future after a horror challenge in the Wales match ended his season.
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill said: "Seamus Coleman is doing much better today. I saw him earlier. He's in better spirits and has his family around him. It's very positive. He's due to be released from hospital tomorrow. I believe the President [Michael D Higgins] visited him today."
Coleman is facing months out after undergoing an operation on a broken tibia and fibula.
But there was still a much anticipated Viking clap from the Icelandic supporters and the return of Robbie Brady to whet the appetite of Irish supporters.
A friendly game played out without most of the regular cast did not put a stop to those fans travelling from afar. Iceland edged the scrappy game but there was a healthy crowd in Dublin 4 to roar on the Boys in Green.
The good weather meant they were certainly more colourfully dressed for the occasion than the heavy coats of winter.
Sligo woman Joanne Stenson (39) had seen Coleman play for her hometown club before his move to England.
"We won four tickets, we're football coaches locally," Ms Stenson said. "We're a bit disappointed that we won't get to see Seamus, but we'll still make the most of it."
Meanwhile, Dubliner Paul O'Connor has been trying to convert his Westmeath daughters, Sophie (10) and Caitlin (14), to soccer over GAA - starting with last night in Dublin 4.
"We go to all the matches if we can. I'm trying to convince Sophie to be soccer-mad instead of the GAA," he said.
Eddie Comerford, from Tallaght, took his grandson Dylan (9) to the game, but doesn't expect him to be in the stands for long.
"He's going to be playing for Ireland in the future, or so he keeps telling me," Mr Comerford said.
Dylan was also hoping to see Coleman marauding up and down the right side. "It was disastrous [the tackle on Coleman]," Mr Comerford said.
An emotional John Egan paid tribute to his late father John after he made his Ireland debut last night. The Brentford defender continued what has been a fine season personally for him when he got the nod from Martin O'Neill in last night's disappointing defeat against Iceland.
Not a night for fairytales then, the Lansdowne din reduced to little more than dice rattling around a biscuit tin. Iceland were simply too stoic, too muscular to entertain the idea of young men in green living out their childhood fantasies.