Happy Birthday Paul McGrath: Reliving Giants Stadium

paul mcgrath giants stadium To celebrate the 55th birthday of one of the greatest of them all, Paul McGrath, we’re reposting Reliving Giants Stadium. The 1994 World Cup in America was the first for Luke Constable of the brilliantly named RGSOAS (Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed). His native England hadn’t qualified but thanks to his Irish grandfather, Luke was rooting for the Republic. Having missed the full game with Italy, the myth around the match had grown. Houghton’s goal and McGrath’s performance became legendary as the years went on. Luke has never seen the game in its entirety…until now. Continue reading →

MVP: God Save the Keane

1392899_899953280016863_7624509163364376664_n Robbie Keane has been named Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player for 2014 after a superb season which garnered 19 goals and 14 assists over 29 appearances. Ireland’s captain and record scorer helped LA Galaxy to the Western Conference title and they will face New England Revolution in Sunday’s MLS Cup Final. Continue reading →

EURO 2016 Mascot

uefa_euro_2016_mascot_victor-france-1 The official mascot for the 2016 Euro Championship in France has been revealed. The little boy who became a super hero after discovering three magical items – a cape, boots and a ball, will be named by public vote from three choices, Driblou, Goalix or Super Victor Continue reading →

Hand of History

paris1 Five years on from THAT goal, we’re revisiting an extract from French Football Weekly’s Jeremy Smith’s interview with Phillipe Auclair, author of Thierry Henry: Lonely At The Top. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Henry is a divisive figure in French football. Perceived as aloof, an adversary of Zidane, and the apparent leader of a shameful strike at the 2010 World Cup, we look at the Frenchman’s standing in history, and that night in Paris. Continue reading →

On Our Way to Paradise?

Mark Lawrenson Scotland Unless you’re counting the 90 minutes in Paris which took the infamous play-off to extra-time, Ireland haven’t beaten a direct qualification rival away from home since a trip to Glasgow in 1987. With the Republic and Scotland reunited in Celtic Park on Friday, can history repeat itself? Continue reading →

When East Beat West

east germany 2 November 9th marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. When Joachim Loew’s German side triumphed in Brazil last July, it marked their first global title as a unified state. East and West only ever met in one World Cup, at the 1974 edition held in West Germany. Of course, East Germany were drawn in the same group as the tournament hosts. In their first and only appearance at the finals, the East shocked the watching world by beating the reigning European champions. Continue reading →

Audio: The Alan McLoughlin Interview

AlanMcLoughlin-01 An Irish football hero since November 1993, Alan McLoughlin chats to Póg Mo Goal’s Dave O’Grady about the release of ‘A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story’, nominated for Irish Sports Book of the Year. He talks about his personal battle with cancer, that famous night in Windsor Park, Roy Keane’s Rolex watch and much more. Continue reading →

A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story

alan mcloughlin pic Gary Mackay’s goal for Scotland sent Ireland to Euro ’88. A facile win in Malta secured passage to our first ever World Cup in 1990. Play-offs, where the job was virtually done in the first leg, earned us the right to compete on a global stage in 2002 and 2012. The World Cup in America was different though. Irish footballing lore is peppered with iconic goals that stay at the forefront of every Republic fan’s memory. Whelan against USSR, McAteer against the Netherlands, Keane versus the Germans, even O’Shea in Gelsenkirchen. And another of those standout strikes came in Belfast in 1993. For the hero of that hour, his toughest fight was yet to come. His newly released autobiography has already been nominated for the Irish Sports Book of the Year. Continue reading →

When Support Doesn’t Work

Unbenannt They’re regarded as being among the best football supporters in the world and were featured in a promotional campaign about Ireland’s loyal Green Army of fans. But with some missing out on tickets for the qualifier with Scotland, and the FAI coming under fire, a new protest video has emerged. Continue reading →

No German Panic but Fighting Irish Could Strike Another Blow

germany fans Call it a World Cup hangover, but the Germans are still feeling a little delicate since their caipirinha-fuelled conquest by the Copacabana. Retirements and injuries have certainly affected ‘Die Mannschaft’ and their performances since the Maracana triumph have been sluggish. A friendly-drubbing at the hands of Argentina was followed up with the nervy win over Scotland, and a shock defeat to Poland. But German football fans don’t necessarily care. They are the world champions. And the country is still basking in the Brazilian glow. The flags remain on cars and outside houses, if a little more ragged now, a bit like Jogi Loew’s squad. Continue reading →

Back to Gelsenkirchen

bonner euro 88 Ireland play Germany at Schalke 04’s Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen but it was at the nearby Parkstadion 26 years ago that the Boys in Green first made their mark only for Wim Kieft’s header to take a cruel bounce to end our Euro ’88 dream. Continue reading →

When Killer Met Keane

10334269_873494712662720_8112683895111861696_n Check out a teaser clip of Kevin Kilbane’s interview with former Irish teammate Roy Keane for Saturday’s Football Focus on BBC One. You can also watch RTE’s Tony O’Donoghue interviewing his fellow Corkman where he asks Keane outright if he walked out of the World Cup in Saipan. Continue reading →

When East Beat West

east germany 2 October 3rd is celebrated in Germany as Unity Day. When Joachim Loew’s football side triumphed in Brazil, it marked their first global title as a unified state. East and West only ever met in one World Cup, at the 1974 edition held in West Germany. Of course, East Germany were drawn in the same group as the tournament hosts. In their first and only appearance at the finals, the East shocked the watching world by beating the reigning European champions. Continue reading →

New Ireland Away Kit

Umbro-Ireland-2014-2015-Away-Kit (1) Umbro have revealed the new Ireland away kit which will be worn for the first time in the Euro 2016 qualifying game against Scotland in Glasgow this November. The design takes inspiration from the second strip worn at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea Continue reading →

Robbie Keane Chips in With Wonder Goal

robbie keane la v ny Robbie Keane warmed up for Ireland’s upcoming crucial qualifiers, including a tilt at the world champions Germany, with a brace for LA Galaxy against New York Red Bulls. His first was an exquisite chip from Landon Donovan’s pass. Robbie also batted away questions on whether he’d be voted the league’s MVP. Continue reading →