A letter to Roy Keane after his reaction to the Spain performance

Dear Roy,

When you left (or were pushed) that famous time in Saipan, a nation divided like nothing seen since the civil war. But time passed and be dad, many is the man, woman and child who has forgiven you for sins you may or may not have committed.

When you dragged that team you captained kicking and screaming all the way to qualification, no one argued that you were truly one of the greats – up there with Mc Grath as possibly the most influential player ever to wear the green of Ireland.

When you slated the FAI for their inept preparation and their lack of professionalism, the people of Ireland sat and listened. Every man and his dog thought you were right and we knew that things were not all gravy in the hallowed halls of Merrion Square.

When we bought your book we read every page with hunger and lapped up every story. It was told with passion and with a great eye for what we love to know. It was a book written for the fan.

Even though some of us are Liverpool fans, when you got that second yellow in Turin we felt your pain though you yourself were numb. We felt it because we followed your every move as an Irish success story for many long years.

When you criticised the prawn munching brigade in the Theatre of Dreams, we all laughed and agreed that corporate United had indeed sold out to the money men.

But there were no prawns being munched in Gdansk.

It is not the mentality of the Irish fan to indulge in half time prawns.

No Roy, in Gdansk you saw and heard the raucous thunderous noise of passionate supporters singing their hearts out for men who were on their knees.

This was no sing-a-long. This was no late night arm around the shoulders yippin’ and hooin’ rebel song serenade.

This was thousands of men and women supporting their team. This was the last cries to defy the pain being felt as the harsh reality of our inadequacies as an international football team were hammered home. This is the mentality of fans who would do the same if we were winning or were losing.

The best fans in the world is a title many fans lay claim to – the Irish ones included.

But there are not many groups who will love and sing and instantly forgive in the face of such annihilation as this team had just suffered.

Roy, I watched this game in a small café in a small street in a town in Colombia with two Isrealis, two Colombians and my Kiwi wife who spent the last 20 minutes looking at her iphone.

With five minutes to go tears were streaming down my face.

Not because we were out.

Not because the group and individuals had underperformed.

Not because we had just lost 4-0.

They were streaming down my face because my Irish brothers and sisters wearing the green were singing their hearts out in spite of all that had gone wrong. The tears flowed because I saw how we embrace the ones who fall. The tears flowed because my fellow supporters stood up and were counted when the end was looming large.

We sang for you too Roy, when you fell (or were you pushed?)

Maybe it is time Roy, for you to stand on a terrace again.

Is mise le meas

Sober Paddy

 

Want to see more?

Sober Paddys interview with comedian Des Bishop

Sober Paddy on the streets of Santa Marta. Colombia

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Comments

  1. Did you actually hear what he said?

    https://vimeo.com/44076059

    https://vimeo.com/44074313

    Roy has praised the Irish travelling fans several times since the tournament started, while on air for ITV. The other night, he said that their energy and support would be crucial to the team. He was not criticising their spirit last night. He was asking them to be more demanding of the team and not settle for just a good night out any more. (Exactly what he’s been saying his entire career.) If anything, it was a pop at Keith Andrews for the attitude, “well, it doesn’t matter, look, we have the best fans in the world.” The supporters deserve better. The defending last night WAS shocking! Don’t patronise the fans – give them better football.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I did hear what he said…he said the irish fans need to change their mentality and they need to not go along for the sing song now and again. How does a group of supporters “demand” more from a team? We are first and foremost supporters, not commentators, psychologists or peers. We are there to sing and cheer, not demand and criticise. It was not just a pop at Keith Andrews it was a pop at everyone who cheered even though we lost. Well, in my humble opinion, that is what good supporters do – they support through thick and thin.

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    Tricia Reply:

    Liverpool supporter by any chance? And your attempt to drum up support on twitter, by @ing everyone who has anything negative to say about Roy is pathetic. Grow up.

    Ireland are in the state we because of attitudes like yours. Just go with the flow. Like dead fish. (Roy Keane said that, by the way.)

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Liverpool has nothing to do with it, even though I say it in the letter. What have you got against me going on twitter? I am allowed express my opinion. Grow up yourself.

    It is the players and mangers who are the team whose attitude needs to be different. What is my attitude by the way? I don’t understand why you think my attitude has an impact on Ireland being in a state.

    And just how are fans meant to demand more of their team after they get hammered by a team? Boo them? Throw stuff at them? Answer me that please?

    Darren Reply:

    The easiest thing in Life is to cristise others… but when you achieved or strive to achieve greatness, its only then that you know what it is like to feel defeat and it is not acceptable to see under achiement as a standard. What Roy may have said is that the Irish football team need to deliver what they are expected to do. For the fans simply to be seen as the greatest fans in the world is not enough if the team let them down. it is a credit to the nation that Irish fans can behave themselves on an international stage but it is not acceptable for the team to perform so poorly. When you put on the green jersey and cannot get the simple basic skills thought even at an underage level right then the fans should demand a greater performance from the TEAM. I do believe that fans should support their team through the highs and lows, but when their are more lows than highs surely the FAI have major questions to answer….. this is what i believe Roy was getting to with his statement… When Roy walked out on the team most of the nation slated him, but when the reasons came out why, the proper football fans supported him….. He has played at the Highest level for the majority of his career, with titles to show for it. Therefore his standards are the highest why should Irish fans accept these standards with one national team but not another.
    This greatness that i talk about is like what has happened at liverpool, as a liverpool supporter you will agree, it kills you to see United win the league at least every other year for the last 20 years this is why you have changed your manager so many times to achieve greatness. Greatness the the club and SUPPORTERS deserve…. why should the irish supporters just accept this level of performamce. DG

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I agree with you that standards need to be high and need to be maintained at a high level to be success. Man Utd have a winning mentality and this has seen them through many tough years, The Irish do not have anything near this mentality. As a football group, the Irish team did well to qualify using limited players and rigid tactics. We were by far rank outsiders in the group. We performed miserably and were punished badly in both matches.

    My point is that the supporters singing their hearts out at the end is nothing to do with accepting low standards. It is about supporting your team, your country, your passion. It is a sign of your character to keep your head up in the face of defeat. This does not mean we condone abject and pitiful displays. It means we are supporters who support as best we know how.
    No one deserves anything in life. You go and earn it and take it.
    As a Liverpool fan I know that in the 80’s they sang when we were ruling the roost, and even today they sing while we are struggling and in dissaray.

    Roy stepped over the line and I think he should apologise for having a pop at the fans who have supported him down throughthe years.

    Even his old friend Mr. Dunphy has deserted him
    http://betting.betfair.ie/football/eamon-dunphy/video-interviews/eamon-dunphy-has-roy-keane-lost-the-plot-150612-283.html

    [Reply]

  2. well said seany…keanos got a chip on his shoulder bout everything eh? never happy, never satisfied..or misplaced disappointment and anger maybe?

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Yeah he got most things about the performance right, but to have a go at the fans singing their hearts out for the boys in green is just ridiculous. Thats what great supporters do. It is not as though we accept the performance. We want better but we are there to do what we have to do – support.

    [Reply]

    Joanne Reply:

    Here, here!

    [Reply]

  3. val bogan says:

    Hey there, think you’ve got this wrong – I heard Roy Keane praising the fans last night. His beef is with the FAI and the players who don’t aspire to being better than they are. He was only critical of the team, and the fact that in the after match interview instead of addressing the poor performance all that was said was that the fans were great. Which we are and which Roy Keane SAID last night. He wants a better deal FOR THE FANS from the institution that controls Irish soccer.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I don’t think I have got it wrong. He not only said that the players have to change mentality, but the fans do too and not to just go along fo a sing song. This is a criticism of the fans as well as the players. Sure the defending was shocking and the team underperformed both games, but that is no reason to have a go at how the fans behave in the face of such a dismal display.

    [Reply]

  4. This open letter is complete and utter tripe! Roy Keane was 100% right in what he said, Ireland are completely inept at this level, the team is aged and it is in need of a serious overhaul. We have some quality young players coming through such as McLean, Coleman, McCarthy and Clark and they now need to get their chance to shine. We do need to demand more, can you imagine how much louder the fans would have sang if we actually got somewhere… Dry up those tears and stop talking horse manure!

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    He was right about everything except for having a go at the fans “mentality”. Is that what supporters are meant to do – demand?? We are there to sing and support and that is where it ends. The players demand. The manager demands. The press demands. The supporters support. And maybe Roy is too used to an English mentality when it comes to supporting but my heart filled with pride hearing our supporters do what they were set out to do. How do you think we should dmand more? By throwing things at players or booing them? You tell me that kinks..

    [Reply]

    Eileen Hassard Reply:

    Absolutely right sober paddy, We support our countrys team because we know they play
    their hearts out for our country. We are at the moment small fish in a very big pond,
    but boy are we Game fish!!!!! Sad day if we lose our Irishness as Roy seems to have done,
    The Irish supporters are there to support, & all credit to them they did Ireland proud.
    Long may they continue to sing it was heartwarming.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Here here Eileen. I think people are losing sight of things when they have a go at the supporters for supporting too much. Although it sells some newspapers and maybe that is Roy’s thing now.

  5. lisalane says:

    SIMPLY FANTASTIC

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  6. maire hayes says:

    Well said. I have tears doen my face reading it. I am not a soccer fan but I watched the match and felt just as you did. I kept watching because of the fans. I was furious at Roy Keane this morning. Your letter needs to be sent to every radio station,every newspaper and even Roy Keane himself. Well written.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I would love Roy to have a read of it Maire. You never know, he might come out and apologise! Thanks

    [Reply]

  7. maire hayes says:

    I commented before I read the replies. To all of you who say he didnt say what he did say- been played all day on the radio. Why is there war on all radio stations and now on RTE news. Trap needs to be gone his days of coaching are over,hes not even using players he could be using. Same ‘old’ squad!

    [Reply]

  8. gerard kennelly says:

    he wasn’t pushed

    he was an arrogant C***

    that is what happens when an irish man gets stuck in man united

    ego EGO ego

    [Reply]

  9. Fantastic letter! Well done Sober Paddy!

    [Reply]

  10. Roy has a chip on his shoulder with Ireland since he played at schoolboy level , he didn’t like travelling on the train to Dublin on his own god love him. Full of shit that man & never stood up to admit he was at fault in his whole career as manager.

    [Reply]

  11. Fair play to you u put that very nicely and every word u wrote is so true

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Cheers Jackie

    [Reply]

  12. Donaldo says:

    Hate Roy! Love the Green Amry!

    LOW LIE THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY, WHERE ONCE WE WATCHED THE SMALL FREE BIRDS FLY….

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing!

    [Reply]

  13. I think Keane was having a bit of a pop at the fans too and I think he’s right. Sure, it’s great they were singing but the fact is that many Irish people – not just football fans – are perfectly happy and even proud to be the ‘plucky little drunks who like a song’. However, there are other people in Ireland who aspire to more than that and feel embarrassed by the fact that we settle for so little and even revel in defeat. Keane’s one of them and he’d like to see Ireland raise their game instead of settling for less simply because we’re small.

    Other countries might look at us and think ‘great spirit’, but in the process of getting shit-faced and singing we act out the stereotype that we’re a bunch of drunken hobbits from Craggy Island. If you looked at Twitter last night, almost all of the English people on there were complaining about how the ITV commentators were patronising the Irish fans with their comments about spirit. Then if you looked at the Irish tweets, everyone was revelling in the same bullshit the commentators were and were saying how wonderful we are.

    We get whipped but we sing our arses of when we do. Is that the best we can do? We’re good at getting drunk and singing? I know we love to play the martyrdom card but it’s time we grew the fuck up and had some professionalism and some dignity.

    [Reply]

    Degsy1888 Reply:

    We live in a country of around 4 million. Football (soccer) is second or third choice sport for a lot of kids who choose GAA or rugby first. The transferable skills from those sports encourage a combative blood and guts approach. Unlike other nations we don’t have a professional league so with all due respect to directives handed down by the FAI and all the good work done by grass root coaching in the country our best players go through the English academy system from 15 years on. As you may have noticed England are currently playing a similar style and system we do but with better quality players.. Our players and style of football may bore the similarities of our neighbours but thankfully our fans don’t. Venting the anger and disgust that we all felt at the performance would have been easy. Singing and cheering with a lump in your throat is not. This Irish trait is something to be proud of. So let the people sing the stories and their songs and embrace the fact that we are the greatest supporters in the world

    [Reply]

    The Pleasure Boat Reply:

    Absolutely correct Desert Orchard.

    [Reply]

    gerard kennelly Reply:

    they lost

    but at least
    they didn’t REFUSE to play

    after going all the way over there

    that is more
    than i
    or anybody can say
    about roy keane in saipan

    [Reply]

  14. Absolutely fabulous letter Paddy! Whether Roy Keane actually meant to say what he did or whether it just came out the wrong way is not so important. What was clear to him and the rest of the world is that the Irish supporters stood behind their team; they had lost but they weren’t beaten. Pity there are some Irish people who do not seem to get this and go on about drunkenness and martyrdom. Never was there less of martyrs in an Irish crowd than last night. The Irish are bards; they have always sung. They sang in bad times and good; under oppression and in freedom; they sing when they are happy and they sing when they hurt. And last night the hurt was bad, the pain of seeing (maybe misplaced)hopes and dreams go down the drain excruciating: So they sang: unified, emotional yes, but with great dignity to support their men who had played to the best of their ability.

    [Reply]

  15. Aidan Molloy says:

    Roy Keane may have been one of the all time greats. But he is a person with some personality defects. He has spent to much time with himself. And his negative outlook is wearing off on himself.
    He reminds me of the Joe Duffy show.
    At least we only have to listen to his moaning every now and then.
    I wonder if his wife likes him?

    [Reply]

  16. if we are so happy with just been the best singinh team shouldnt we just give up football and concentrate on the eurovision,is it so bad for us and roy to expect the players to show a bit of heart and go and learn the anthem

    [Reply]

  17. Sober Paddy i really enjoyed reading your letter in my opinion Roy Keane is a bitter man who didn’t get his own way in Saipan. He has no right to slag anyone off especially the team and supporters he walked out on.

    [Reply]

  18. Adrienne Kilbride says:

    Well Said Sober Paddy…Fantastic Letter so well written!

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  19. God you have missed the point. I agree with him 100%. The fans did the country proud of course but why go to tournaments just to take part in a sing song. Surely we should be going to compete. It was the team he had issues with.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    But he did say that the fans need to change their mantality and it was his opinion that fans were just looking for a sing song. I am 100% sure every fan went there for success and not just a session. This is where I think Roy is wrong and stepped over the line. Supporters so their job by singing and supporting…nothing else.

    [Reply]

  20. Maeve Beggs says:

    Nice letter Sober Paddy but rest assured your Kiwi wife would not feel the same if were the All Blacks. They are almost outcasts if they lose a try not to mind a match. Proof of the pudding tomorrow morning in Christchurch. Great fans. Great craic but Roy, you have a point! Team should not have been there.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    And we nearly bet the Kiwis!!

    [Reply]

    flyingpostie Reply:

    Note the word nearly.

    [Reply]

  21. Barbara McMahon says:

    Nobody & I mean nobody can take away the dedication of the Irish fans in the build up and during the 2 matches to date. I have watched Premiership matches where the fans leave before the match is over if their team is being hammered like we were last night but not one of the 30,000 Irish fans left that stadium last night. There was no violence, no rows, just singing and pride..
    I will agree with other posters though when they say it’s time for a new manager. Giovani seems a nice man but we need a revamped, refreshed team. Shay Given was not 100%. Keane, McGeady and Duff I understand wanted to play as this will be their last big tournament but it is time to introduce the youngsters. There was no gel between the team since last Sunday. So while I understand everybody’s point of view, Roy Keane isn’t too far off the mark when he said we should be expecting more from a team that got to the Euro’s.. Many a person probably got themselves in to serious debt to go there for the week and the performance definitely did not live up to the expectations. We should have beaten Croatia, Spain may have been a bit more rattled if we had but they weren’t and we were left looking like a schoolboys team last night. Anyway… as the saying on Facebook said today ‘If Carlsberg did Fans, Ireland are most probably the best fans in the World’.. :)

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Very well put Barbara

    [Reply]

  22. francis mccgarry says:

    I will say this, that singing made me almost cry. Amazing. If anyone differs we can talk, face to face. it is about having the support. Those who say it is win only don’t know our history. Do we not honor 1916? Was that an clear and immediate victory? I am Irish win or lose, and will support that, but my sign of national pride is not weakness. I will sign, I will sign.

    [Reply]

  23. Stephen says:

    This is madness .. had anyone else said what Roy said, everyone would agree with them.
    Read between the lines Paddy .. all he is saying is that the fans deserve more.

    Also if we once again make Roy Keane the issue .. nothing will be done to further Football Development in Ireland. All we do is take the pressure off John Delaney to justify his scandalous salary.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I read between many lines Stephen, but seeing as he is one of the biggest stars of Irish football still and a media pundit, it is no strange thing that people comment when he criticises how the fans act – he did say the fans need to change their mentality and not just be there for a sing song. I think he was out of line saying this. The fans were just showing support in the most powerful way they know how.

    [Reply]

    Stephen Reply:

    While I will still disagree with you, I do admire your willingness to engage in discussion.

    [Reply]

  24. Keane was right, and funny that the best supporters in the world dont fill the Aiva or bother to follow their own national football league but support british teams like liverpool. Gie your arse a rest its not “support” but jumping on the band wagon and i find it very patronising. Cant ye guys just feck off to the rugby or the gah and leave us real football heads alone. Put that in your expresso!

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Ben your email address has Celtic and 67 in the name…is this anything to do with a British club from Glasgow who won the European cup in 1967? Or is there another Irish team who you are talking about? There is no harm people supporting any team and any code they want. National football pride has nothing to do with day to day support of any club team. And I wouldn’t mind a nice espresso now that you mention it.

    [Reply]

  25. hows the weather in colombia. selling a passports?? only messin.
    enjoyed the posts and views.

    Still the best supporters in the world and will be seen again on Monday against the WW turncoats.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Selling whatever I can get me hands on to keep the dream alive!

    [Reply]

  26. Ciaran Tierney says:

    Excellent letter, Sober Paddy,

    I never bought Roy’s (and Dunphy’s) book, because life is too short.
    He had his chance ten years ago, and he walked out, no matter how correct he was in criticising the amatuerism of the FAI.
    No manager in the world could have led that Irish team. Just look at the Spanish bench . . . Fabregas, Mata, and Llorente are better footballers than ANY member of the Irish team on the pitch.
    As you said, it was a group of people from a nation on its knees singing with emotion, because despite our f–ked up history, we have “dreams and songs to sing”.
    Those fans did more good for our country than the Irish Tourist Board ever could. And, unlike Keane, they had to scrimper and save and beg to get there. I have friends in their 40s in Poland who waited ten years to get to a tournament, and why shouldn’t they sing their hearts out in Gdansk.
    We’re the wild geese, scattered all over the world, and yet we should be proud of the ties that bind us as a tribe.
    My brother-in-law is Spanish. He watched the game in a big restaurant near Valencia. Afterwards, everyone on the pub was marvelling at the Irish fans … and not at the Spanish performance. And that, really, says it all … rather than a milllionaire former pro taking pot-shots at a team who just aren’t good enough. They fought to get there, to represent our land on the global stage, and that’s been enough for most of us. Thanks, Ireland!

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Fair play Ciaran…Your words sum up a lot of sentiments very very well. It is a tribal community and in moments like that loss we come together and bond in a uniquely Irish way. This is what seperates us and I think Roy should have simply acknowledged that amazing spirit and left it at that.

    [Reply]

  27. Well said Paddy. Fantastic letter. Still in Poznan having been to the Croatia and Spain games with Italy left on Monday. The fans have been nothing short of superb over here with the rendition of the fields of athenry at the end of the Spanish game one thats makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Roy you are an Irish legend but don’t dare have a pop at the fans. Yes we want the best from our team and they should have performed far better but don’t mock the fans while trying to ask your usual and fair questions of the national team.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents worth oh but one final thing Tricia don’t bring Liverpool man united into this argument. Paddy was only trying to show the admiration we had to Roy even when supporting our club teams and he on the opposing team.

    Stevo.
    The square in Poznan.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Cheers Stevo…the club thing is exactly as you see it…Roy held our esteem and respect even though we may have had different loyalties – that was the only point I wanted to make with that. Whether Roy meant to say what he did I don’t know, but he definately said it and I think this time he has gone too far.
    Enjoy the last game and sing your heart out for the lads again!

    [Reply]

  28. Great letter Paddy, except that you missed – and judging by your replies, still miss – the point of what Roy said. He’s not having a go for them singing at losing, he’s saying that it shouldn’t only be about being plucky fans.

    The media have spun what he said to suit their paper-selling agenda. The crux of what he says is that if we do have the best fans in the world, the least the squad could do was play for them, and patronise the fans by praising them when they have been poor.

    And, that maybe if the fans were a bit more demanding, in whatever shape that might be, the team/management might aim higher.

    Do you get the distinction? He’s NOT criticising the fans.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I dont know Derek. I have been in dressing rooms with 85,000 people outside in the stadium and with millions behind the team supporting the team. Never once did the team talk ever mention the demands of the fans. Never once did the group of players and managment think of how the fans might react. The desire to perform always came from within the group. The demands on performance always came from the players and management.

    Never once did the performance rely on the fans ‘not’ singing or doing something different than rallying behind the team.

    Never have I ever heard of anyone suggesting a better way than simply singing and cheering for supporters to make a difference.

    So while I think you distinguish a different meaning from what Roy said, I think he is being critical of their behaviour in so raucously supporting even though we were appaling and got hammered.
    And this I think is wrong. The fans were truly magnificent.

    [Reply]

  29. I agree 100% with Tricia. He was not slating the fans. He was saying they deserve more. Everyone thinks and knows when we go to championships or world cups “ah its just the Irish they’ll drink all day and night and have a sing song and we are not taken serious at all.

    I heard someone say the other day “the English only have 3,000 fans compared to our 30,000+” well look whos still in the Euros??

    I will finish by saying we can stop all this talk of the best fans in the world we deserve a trophy for our fans. When is the last time Ireland sold out a home game at Lansdowne Rd.?? I rest my case

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Landsdowne Road being sold out and whether we are the best fans in the world is a completely different story. This is about an Irish sporting icon saying that the fans should change their mentality and not just be there for a sing song. Irish fans do not deserve more.
    Why do they deserve anything?
    We deserve what we get and supporters should support and cheer even in the face of defeat. This is tue and unadulterated support.
    And Roy DID have a pop at this whether you gloss over his words or not.

    [Reply]

  30. basillarkin says:

    For once I have to agree with Roy Keane, the supporters celebrating while the team was beaten 4-0 was embrassing.The whole “sure its great to be even there” craic is another blight at the heart of the problem in this country when it comes to international sporting performances. Spain had trouble in getting out of their group @ the WC 2010, the Swiss beat them while they struggled to beat Chile 2-1.Even Honduras but up a fight.
    Trap has to go if he does not give the young lads like Coleman, Clark and McCarthy a decent chance. The likes of Hoolhan and Pilkington were never consider and Stephen Ireland might come back into the fold. For some who think we don’t have good enough players explain this New Zealand @ WC 2010 were able to mix it with decent sides while only having the one premier league player.
    New Zealand 1 1 Slovakia
    New Zealand 1 1 Italy
    New Zealand 0 0 Paraguay

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    I agree with you in everything except for the first line. The supporters were not celebrating. They were supporting in the best way they know how – by singing their heart out. The best supported teams in the world get this support and on this night our Irish team got it. The attitudes and performance of the team is a completely seperate issue.

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  31. Good letter Paddy, are all of those ‘fans’ who are now demanding more not going to support the team. It is easy to do what the English fans do ‘boo and barrack their team at every opportunity’ do you think that helps them? England and all of their booing and demanding have only ever won one tournament… and they have the ‘best league’ in the world!!! Roy is still full of it, he threw the toys out of the pram in Saipan because he was not being treated professionally, then sulked off in the most unprofessional attitude any national captain has ever shown. Roy had a chance in Saipan to lead and he didn’t have the bottle for it. Does expect the Irish fans to skulk off home like he did.
    Well news for you Roy and all of your demanding apologists, the Irish fans were realists, they knew Ireland had little hope of winning against the world champions, that they were lucky to be there at all, that Trapp had pulled one out of the hat… but they went to support their team, win, lose or draw…
    I see a lot of comments about changing the team, the manager the set-up, just like English fans have done for years on end… well sad news that doesn’t work either..

    [Reply]

  32. David Lonergan says:

    I was there. I sang with all I had at the end. Why?
    What else could I do, literally turn my back and walk out early like you see so many times on tv? Or shout rude comments at the Irish players 15 meters away from me or boo them at half or full time?
    I have a thing that I can not ask anymore from a person than I cannot give myself (ie if I’m not good enough to represent my country I’m not going to slag some who is good enough).
    I assume Roy Keane has this same mentality… so as he was undoubtedly one of the best players in the world most players in his mind can fall foul to his ridicule.
    I believe the best place for his comments is in the team. Hopefully his level of desire will be echoed by senior members of the team in the dressing room behind closed doors and if not we need someone with this desire steering the team.

    But getting back to why I sang my heart out…
    We could have lost 8 – 0 or even 22 – 0 because that is the amount of shots THE BEST IN THE WORLD had on target on our goal but (and I am at heart a defensive football player) I witnessed several perfect ball and man one on one last line of outfeild defensive tackles, full stretched diving saves from Irelands best keeper and bodies on the line slash take one for the country body blocks. I sang to help my fellow country men with what they were going through.

    In summary if Roy proves himself at manager level in the future get him for Ireland if not Roy don’t trample on my dreams man I can’t handle the truth!

    #ITVonlyBroughtHimInForHisPolarControversialViewsToMakeMoney

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    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Great to get someones thoughts who was there. Like you say #ITVonlyBroughtHimInForHisPolarControversialViewsToMakeMoney! I think he needs to be in the dressing room and not out in pubilc where he is finding reality and his opinion are not the best of bedfellows.
    I thikn he would be a great manager but it would take even more time to win over the fans…

    [Reply]

  33. Roy is a thick cnut. He thinks he can dictate to everyone else yet he ran home like a baby from siapan and moaned about it on tv for weeks after, he should have taken a leaf out of his own book and get over it like he said about the match against France. Seems that Roy has a very short memory.

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  34. A master of the written word John Leonard.tears were in my eyes reading this letter. I hope Roy recives a copy.

    [Reply]

    Sober Paddy Reply:

    Thanks A…maybe you can drop one into him next time he’s in London!

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  35. Irish Mother says:

    brillant letter to Roy….what we saw the other night from the fans is what will get us through the current recession…..it reminded me of that song Rolf Harris use to sing about ‘Two Little Boys’….the line in the song that always stirred deep emotion within me was “…do you think I would leave you dying… when there’s room on my horse for two….”. As Irish we look after the under dog and unfortunately our poor team were the under dogs last week against Spain. The fans with their version of the Fields of Athenry was a symbolic gesture of Ireland’s Fans riding in to save their fallen heros and yes there was room on the horse for a soceer team that were simply out classed. Good Luck to Spain hopefully they will go on and win it. As for Roy, I have always admired your professionalism and deep sense of courage. You are not afraid to speak your mind or give your opinion and that is good. But Roy remember there are times when we all need someone or somthing to catch us when we fall. For the Irish Fans the Fields of Athenry caught a courageous team that were falling. I salute the fans for reminding us that failure is not falling down failure is falling down and not getting up again. The fans ensured that our team were able to get up again.

    [Reply]

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