Did you know…

We have assembled some interesting Irish football facts.

  • Jason McAteer, renowned for his funny stories, recently revealed his greatest regret in football; after scoring his most famous goal against Holland to win us a place at the World Cup 2002 physio, Mick Byrne told McAteer that U2 had been in contact, as they were playing a gig to 80,000 people in Slane later that evening. Bono wanted to fly McAteer out to the concert and bring him out on stage. McAteer told him, ‘Nah Mick I’m heading out to celebrate with John Alrdridge’. A few months back, McAteer met an Irish guy in Spain, and he told him he was at the gig in Slane and Bono told the Crowd he was bringing out Jason McAteer, but no one came out. Uhhh ohhh, McAteer thought Mick was winding him up.
  • Ronnie O’Brien topped a poll in 1999 as the greatest-ever Juventus player. During his three years with Juventus, Ronnie made only a few first-team appearances and was loaned out to the likes of FC Lugano and Dundee United. Despite this, he still topped the poll, which must have been heartening for him. We are, however, excited about this seasons’ Champions League and O’Brien may be interested to know that Juventus are currently at 18/1 to win outright on BetStars.
  • As well as topping this poll, Ronnie was also nominated for Time 100: Persons of the Century in 1999. Unfortunately for Ronnie, the powers that be rejected the nomination on the basis that ‘whimsical candidates will not be considered.’ Poor ole whimsical Ronnie.
  • Kevin Moran, won two football GAA All Ireland Finals medals with Dublin and then went on to play football with Man United and Ireland and was the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final.
  • Did you know that Irish footballer Robbie Keane found out that singer and former frontman of The Smiths’ Morrissey is his cousin? This was only established four years ago, and it just so happens that Keane’s grandfather is a first cousin of Morrissey’s father. They met at an LA Galaxy game in America for the first time.
  • Speaking of music, rapper Example is the nephew of an Irish sporting legend: the late, great Tony Grealish, who is the only man to ever have played both played soccer and Gaelic football at Wembley.
  • Large groups of Spanish Students staying in Ireland for the Summer is a regular site, and one of the most famous students to stay was Xabi Alonso, who spent a summer in Kells in County Meath, Ireland. Alonso even spent some time playing some Gaelic football. He has said, ‘I played Gaelic football with some of the local boys. It was very fast, very tough. Maybe they should wear crash helmets.’

leave comments below for any other ones we might have missed.

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