“No alarms, and no surprises, please” – Radiohead.
On the eve of Northern Ireland turning the hunderd, a poll of Northern Ireland football fans has overwhelmingly shown that 100% of football fans in Northern Ireland support Northern Ireland. Out of all the footballing nations with the word “Irish” or “Ireland” in their name, Northern Ireland has consistently been the most Irish of them all, boasting 95% of home grown Irish players, whilst another country using the term “Ireland” in its name was able to field only 72% of Irish born players. That country refused to comment, and many believe this is because that other country is more British than it is Irish. An attempt was made to approach “native Irish” tournament goalscorers Ray Houghton, John Aldridge, Kevin Sheedy and Sean Saint Ledger but it turned out, all of them were living in the “UK”, thus confirming Northern Ireland to be the main Irish country in footballing terms. Nobody was surprised by that.
In the poll itself, no other countries were voted for, however there were a few comments that mentioned other countries and we’ll post them here –
One fella, Wee Jimmy remarked “I’m from Strabane so I am, so of course I support Northern Ireland, but I did watch a Brazil game once in 1994 but it ended 0-0, so I side with the north now. I love how they represent Ireland impeccably on the world stage and big Gerry Armstrong and Sammy McIlory are some characters”.
A wee lass from Derry remarked “we actually live not far from the border to another country, but I’d never dream of supporting themmuns. There was even a rumour the first World Cup goal of “themmuns” was scored by a Welsh lad and their first Euros goal was scored by a Scotsman. I’m Irish and proud. You wouldn’t catch me with a Kevin Sheedy poster on my bedroom wall. I’m Jim Magilton loyal so I am. My wee sister once asked me if I heard of Irishman Ray Houghton but I replied that he sounded Scottish to me. Just after that I framed my Gerry Taggart poster. In a different decade, I had a coffee with Michael O’Neill and I was starstruck”.
A nationalist in Northern Ireland from Bangor commented “I’m a nationalist from Bangor and I love Ireland. My favourite three World Cups with Ireland were in 1958, 1982 and 1986. Ireland were excellent and all our goalscorers were born on the island of Ireland and that makes me really proud. Furthermore, all of them were born in the north. One of my cousins lives down south so he does and he told me that Ireland were also decent at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. However when I checked I noticed their goals were scored by Brits from Wales, Scotland and England so there’s no way I’d support that side. They’re about as Irish as Alanis Mozzarella or Tony Cathcartinho!”
Northern Ireland is 100 years old today and it seems that the country’s national football team is the only Irish team left out there. Northern Ireland are the first and only Irish team at a major women’s football tournament. That event takes place next year in a British country but many Irish are expected to attend.
In conclusion, as expected, 100% of football fans in Northern Ireland have voted to Support Northern Ireland.