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Irish fans keep everyone smiling

Published: Tuesday 19 June 2012, 12.45CET
The Republic of Ireland travel home without a point to show for their efforts, but while the players did not make too much of an impression in Poland, their fans certainly did.
by Garry Doyle
from Poznan
 
Published: Tuesday 19 June 2012, 12.45CET

Irish fans keep everyone smiling

The Republic of Ireland travel home without a point to show for their efforts, but while the players did not make too much of an impression in Poland, their fans certainly did.

Those who suggest we Irish are infatuated with our image as good-natured party-goers had plenty of evidence to substantiate that claim during the last ten days. In creating an electrifying atmosphere for all three Group C games, and providing an appropriate soundtrack for the concluding minutes of the encounter with Spain in Gdansk last Thursday, they left a positive legacy at UEFA EURO 2012.

That view was echoed by a German friend of mine who emailed the following observation, quoted verbatim – spelling mistakes included and forgiven – below.

©Sportsfile

Irish fans have lit up the tournament off the pitch

Heinz had stayed in Sopot, near the Ireland team hotel, and was seduced by the good nature of not just the squad but, of course, the supporters. He wrote: "What a pitty to loose them! The team is here in Sopot and Sopot is totally in Irish hands! No chance to get a draft beer, because everything is already drunken! Having a party 24/7 for several days now, everybody totally having fun, singing and cheering all the day. And Irish players including Trapatoni just walking on the streets for several times, giving autographs, shooting photos and with the fans! And no trouble, no police, no bad words. Great!

"You heard this chorals at the last match against Spain. There was just silence in the stadium, even commentators saying not a word, just the songs of the Irish! Unbelievable! You'll never beat the Irish!"

Off the pitch, that is true. On it, Croatia, Spain and Italy did beat them. How inconsiderate of a game of football to interrupt the fun.

Last updated: 22/06/12 3.25CET

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