Kevin Brannigan explores if the reality of the 1990s jars with our memories
“With shaggy boyband hair, a slightly ruddy complexion partly obscured by his unkempt beard, he thrives in opposition to others.” Edd Norval explores the cult status of the Derry Pele, the irrepressible Paddy McCourt.
As the first Irish players to ply his trade in Italy, Armagh’s Paddy Sloan was a football pioneer, writes Cian Manning.
With the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland appearing at a major finals together for the very first time, Discover Ireland have released this stunning promo video to wish the best of luck to both teams on the island.
“I’m full of anomalies, ironies, paradoxes and downright contradictions.” Cian Manning takes a clsoer look at Ireland’s enigmatic manager.
As both national teams on the island prepare to take part in the finals of a major tournament together for the first time, Cian Manning recalls how it came about in 1973 that an All-Ireland selection took on the might of Brazil.
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.
Images have been released of the new Northern Ireland Adidas away shirt which will be worn for the first time in March’s friendly with Cyprus.
Sierra Leone have appointed a little-known Northern Irishman with no senior coaching experience as international team manager. Johnny McKinstry has been installed as caretaker coach of the African nation replacing Sweden’s Lars Olof Mattsson who resigned a few weeks ago. Lisburn native McKinstry’s only prior coaching experience came at youth level.
In a week when Northern Ireland’s Jonny Evans said he hopes to spend the rest of his career at Manchester United, one wonders if former Old Trafford team-mate Darron Gibson might be looking on enviously.