Standing Up For The Boys In Green

by Dave O'Connor
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Republic of Ireland legend Paul McGrath praised the Irish fans on their camaraderie and good behaviour at Euro 2016, calling the British fans who wreaked havoc in France “animals” in comparison.
Speaking to The Gazette this week, the all-time great said he expected nothing else from the Irish fans, comparing them to the devotee supporters from the time he played in the Euros in 1988.
“Like now we had great supporters back in my day too. While we were playing in West Germany the fans were allowed into our training camp after games to have a few drinks with us. They just wanted to have fun and have a good time, which makes you so proud.
“I think the lads on the national team are a similar bunch to when I was playing for Ireland. “They all fight for each other and if someone gets tackled they would all come in and help them out, which is what
we did back in our day.
“We played as a team, which was evident showing the results we got.”

Asked what he thought about the infamous reputation the English fans have in France, McGrath said: “It’s not all the English causing trouble over there, but the ones who are doing it are nothing but animals and shouldn’t be out there.
“They’re not doing themselves or their country proud which is the sad thing about it all.”
According to McGrath, Jeff Hendrick has the most potential on the Irish team who he says is “absolutely
fantastic”.
“Jeff is a lad who isn’t afraid of getting stuck in and he tackles very well too. I love to gravitate towards those type of players because I loved to tackle myself.
“With Robbie Keane, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to be involved in the qualifications in the
next World Cup. He has scored so many goals and done so well for Ireland that I think he should be
allowed determine his own time to leave the international stage.”
A lesser known fact about McGrath was that he used to work as a night time security officer
in Connolly Hospital in the early 1980s.
“ I loved working at Connolly Hospital because half the time I was asleep,” he laughed, but the odd time I got a call on the radio and had to deal with some trouble makers.
“I have loads of good memories protecting all those nurses up there. It was tough gig but someone
had to put their hand up and do it.”
Known in some football circles simply as God, McGrath won 82 caps for Ireland and
played in one of the strongest-ever Ireland teams in the 1994 World Cup in the USA.
While there , he became renowned for almost single-handedly taking on the Italian frontline, including a
famous incident where he blocked a Giuseppe Signori shot with his face and played through
severe knee pain.
Paul McGrath is supporting Curry’s PC World Ultimate Home of Football tour this summer. Fans can be
in with a chance to own the Ultimate Home of Football for an exciting match with their mates
until July 10. For more information visit currys.co.uk/footballwin
Fans not heading to France for the matches can get closer to the action on the pitch with a 4K TV from Currys PC World for the ultimate football match experience.

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