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Guardian Article : 17.11.1993

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Kevin Kilbane
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2012 at 10:37pm
Class article Thumbs Up
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Robbie Keane
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote irishmufc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2012 at 10:48pm
i was thinking of setting up a thread for any of the YBIG members who were at that game in Belfast.it must ve been some experience an then getting out alive Confused.id love to hear the stories
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FREEWHEELER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2012 at 12:49pm
I'll re-post up the wonderful monologue that Declan O'Brien penned about the night in Belfast.  It's long but it's absolutely superb.
We'll never die, we'll never die, we'll keep the Green Flag flying high......Shamrock Rovers will never die, we'll keep the Green Flag Flying high. 19 Leagues and 25 Cups.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote damo21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2012 at 1:40pm
What a read , pure class , it captivating to say the least.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unbelievable_jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2012 at 10:22pm
Great article.

Went up to Windsor few years ago when the Drogs were playing in the Setanta Cup final. Found it quite intimidating and that was during 'peaceful times'. Cant imagine what it must have been like for away fans back in '93. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FREEWHEELER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2012 at 10:30am
Here's Declan O'Brien's Monologue about that night in Belfast............ LOL
 

ALAN WHO? (Written by Declan O’Brien)

 

It was at the end of 93, on a cold and wintry night

The 17th of November if you want to be precise

Windsor Park was the venue, in loyalist East Belfast

The Republic and the Northern 6 made up the intriguing cast

It was a night when every man, woman, child and mongrel dog

From inner city ghettos to the crowds down in the bog

Stopped doing whatever it is they do for their nerves had turned to jelly

To sit and watch events unfold upon the nearest telly

Very few went up you see cos that’s what they advised

The dangers in travelling up there could never be disguised

And when you think that Irish fans had travelled round the globe

Yet the one place they weren’t welcome was only up the road

But before I begin to reminisce upon that fateful night

Let’s not forget that at that stage we shoulda been out of sight

So let me take you back another five weeks yet again

When they called it a formality, Ireland versus Spain

 

That afternoon in October, the country just stood still

And we knew that we would easily win but we’d settle for one nil

And we arrived at the ground excited, we were a lively happy crowd

The band struck up the anthem and we sang it out so loud

And I looked at the banners round the ground from our witty football sages

Like one said “Adios Amigos, viva to Las Vegas

And we settled down to watch this game as easy as A-B-C

Instead we were struck by a sickness called the Spanish 1-2-3

You see it gets you in the stomach in the space of half an hour

And you start to feel quite nauseous and your legs start losing power

And your vision of America begins to fade away

And all you can see in front of you is a week in Brittas Bay

So now we had a five week wait to the game in Windsor Park

In bed at night I tossed and turned and I wondered in the dark

I’d visions of these Orangemen on the pitch before the match

Parading on the touchline to the tune of “Give it a Sash”

And I dreamt I was negotiating with the IFA

And I listed all the things that I would gladly give away

Now the IFA, I don’t mean the farmers’ crowd

Ah Jaysus don’t get me wrong

You couldn’t bargain with that lot now, you could never stand the pong

No, the IFA are the football powers that be in the Northern Association

And it’s with them I dreamt I was doing all this intense negotiating.

Now I’d let Ian Paisley become the Pope and I’d live with all the dangers

I’d wear the sash, I’d beat the drum, I’d even shout for Rangers

I’d kiss a portrait of the Queen and I’d even start a rumour

That pasty faced James Molyneaux has a sense of humour

I’d give up articles 2 and 3, I’d change me name to Billy

I’d buy a tin of orange paint and I’d slap it on me willy

All these things I’d gladly do, I’d gladly give and more

If only they would let us have a slightly better score

But then I’d wake up in a sweat and fine it was all a dream

Cos you’d never get a favour from that Northern F********ootball team

 

So all eyes turned to Belfast and our date with destiny

This was a night for men to be men so where did that leave me?

You see, if we lost, that was it, good night and thanks for calling

But if we won, well that of course would only be go h-álainn

OK, a draw might do us but we wouldn’t know until

The score came through from Denmark-Spain that was going on in Seville

So you could cut the tension with a knife as the teams walked on the pitch

If you could bottle and sell the hatred there, you’d soon be stinking rich

The first half came and went so fast, it all seemed so unreal

No goals yet in Belfast, no goals in Seville

Then fifteen minutes into the second half, it flashed across the screen

Spain have scored”, it took a second, now what the fu*k’s that mean?

And then it slowly dawned on us it could mean the USA

And it was like a mass conversion as we all began to pray

There was movement on the touchline, word passed around the pub

Eh, Jack is taking Houghton off, he’s bringing on a sub

Who’s he bringing on instead?  I haven’t got a clue

Eh I think its Alan McLoughlin. Alan? Alan Who?

 

(Sing (to the tune “Alice”))

 

Well now Alan’s been sub for such long whiles

He’s been sitting so long he’s bound to have piles

Poor Old Alan

Well now being on the bench well it can’t be much fun

So I think that it’s time that we gave him a run

And Big Jack wandered over to Alan’s side and he said

Well I don’t know what I’m doing but I’ll take all the blame

I’m gonna take Ray Houghton off, I’m giving you a game

You have 20 minutes left to become a hero Alan

(Alan, who the f*ck is Alan?)

20 minutes left for this country to advance

So out you go me bucko, take your bloody chance

You have 20 minutes left to become a hero Alan

(Alan, who the f*ck is Alan?)     (End of singing)

 

Please forgive that outburst, me mind just went astray

It always shaggin happens when I think about that day

So on came Alan McLoughlin to help get the goal we were needing

Within three minutes of him coming on, the shaggin North were leading

A brilliant goal by Jimmy Quinn, it went in like a comet

The Northern fans went crazy, all we could do was vomit

“One team in Iron, there’s only one team in Iron!”

One team in Iron, the North supporters crowed

Just like we had taunted them before in Lansdowne Road

And when we taunted them before, did we think that they’d forget?

Sure King Billy won in 1691 and they haven’t forgotten yet

And guess what came back to haunt me as the minutes ticked away

The month of June, pissing rain, I was back in Brittas Bay

So we braced ourselves for misery, our World Cup on the rocks

When the ref gave us a free kick outside the Northern box

Irwin’s floated free was cleared but not so very far

And it landed in the vicinity of our latest superstar

My memory is of slow motion as he took it on his chest

He let it drop, drew back his leg and……… I think you know the rest

The Northern fans fell silent, so eerie you’d take fright

But we were a hundred miles away and we couldn’t give a sh*te

 

One all was how it ended and the TV turned to Spain

Here, let’s watch the Spanish celebrating wha?

Aw Jaysus they’re still playing

They’ve played 3 mintues injury time, ah someone’s bleedin lying

What’s the story referee, is someone after dying?

You have to blow the whistle ref, Spain have to stay ahead

And I began to pray again and this is what I said

“Oh God I promise I’ll be very good, I’ll behave with much more prudence

I’ll take all me holidays in Benidorm, I’ll be nice to Spanish students

I’ll never ever sin again, I’ll never be ungracious

I’ll buy every shaggin record made by Julio Iglesias

Just make him blow the whistle God, make him blow it please

Put me out of me misery, put me at me ease”

And after what seemed a lifetime, he gave the final blow

And I joined with a choir called Ireland to the strains of “Here we Go”

 

At Dublin Airport later on that night, with every car horn blarin

It made rush hour in Manhattan seem like a slow day in Dáil Éireann

And now as we travel onwards, no matter what we do

We’ll never ever say again

Alan, Alan Who?

 

The End.

We'll never die, we'll never die, we'll keep the Green Flag flying high......Shamrock Rovers will never die, we'll keep the Green Flag Flying high. 19 Leagues and 25 Cups.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Double Maxim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 1:13am
The Guardian article has resurfaced on social media recently what a superb article.

As is Declan O' Brien's piece.


Edited by Double Maxim - 24 Oct 2023 at 1:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote You Tell Me Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 8:22am
Still ranks as possibly my favourite article about football. So much of what happened that night kind of went unnoticed because we were just focused on Ireland and there wasn't the same access to info about other games on social media as there is now. Although I do remember watching bits of the England v San Marino game as well. The way qualifying is set up now means you'll never get something like that happening again.


Edited by You Tell Me - 24 Oct 2023 at 8:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 8:37am
Sportsnight that night with Tony Gubba was the greatest one hour of tv ever produced in my view.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. Snrub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 11:55am
Brilliant article!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bukowski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 2:49pm
A good read, and what's also interesting is that I don't think any of the people posting comments back in 2012 are still on this forum. Least I don't recognise any of the names. The river of life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trap junior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 3:17pm
The French collapse was the most dramatic from any of the games.  Needing only a point from their last 2 games at home to Israel and Bulgaria. They conceded 3 times in the last 8 mins of those games.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paulie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2023 at 4:24pm
Originally posted by Trap junior Trap junior wrote:

The French collapse was the most dramatic from any of the games.  Needing only a point from their last 2 games at home to Israel and Bulgaria. They conceded 3 times in the last 8 mins of those games.  

Unbelievable Jeff


No doubt it was a huge f**k up by the French but to be fair that was a very good Bulgarian team which made to the semi's in the WC itself.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terzino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2023 at 8:43pm
Although the internet hadn't been invented it was still possible to be aware of what happened across Europe that night. Thanks to RTÉ, BBC and Eurosport you still saw all of the main action.

When our game in Belfast ended RTÉ immediately cut to Seville and the last few minutes of the Spain game. I remember the ball going into the crowd and not being returned for ages. This was a time before the multi-ball system so crowds could get away with that kind of thing back then. 

Also unlike today, added time from the ref was a complete mystery so you never knew when he was supposed to blow his whistle. This only added to the tension. With the Spanish fans demanding it, he eventually did and we qualified. RTÉ played Neil Diamond's "We're Coming to America" for the closing credits.

And us going to America instead of Denmark, thanks to goals scored, has got to be the tightest qualification ever.

The Kostadinov goal against France must be the most famous goal Bulgaria have ever scored, whilst the San Marino strike was one of the funniest - until their goal against Staunton's Ireland - at least.

Bulgaria later met Sweden again in the World Cup 3rd/4th play-off, so it just goes to show how moments of magic can change everything. Romania also had a brilliant World Cup with Hagi on fire in America. 

For us, without McLoughlin's equaliser there wouldn't have been Ray Houghton's winner against Italy. We also played against Norway and Holland (both from England's group), so I guess we would have played England if they had made it.

In an alternative time-line it might have been Papin smashing in volleys, with Laudrup and Giggs running riot. Or even Ireland v England for a chance to play Brazil in the Quarter-Final.


Edited by Terzino - 25 Oct 2023 at 8:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paulie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2023 at 8:51pm
Was it Romania vs Argentina that was an absolute classic in '94? I seem to remember Dimitrescu getting 1 or 2 goals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terzino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2023 at 9:49pm
That's right. They had another great game against Sweden in the next round, probably best remembered for the training ground free-kick that Brolin scored.

The ultimate "crazy" goalkeeper Ravelli sent them home after penalties.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1874eire Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2023 at 12:23pm
30th anniversary today. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zizu Kilbane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2023 at 12:26pm
"Sometimes, sh*t happens, someone's gotta deal with it, and who ya gonna call?"
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