Sir, - Through you, I'd like to congratulate your football team and supporters for the absolute pleasure you afforded me during the wonderful World Cup competition. Without doubt, if any team deserved to get through to the quarter-finals Ireland did and that includes my own country, England.

From what I saw and heard, all England was rooting for Ireland and we were all so upset when you went out. I don't want to join the Roy Keane debate, but I do think that he would have made the difference against Spain and you would have won in normal time. I just hope that he will think long and hard about what he did and how he let your wonderful country down.

What a match it would have been if you had played Korea; one can only dream on.

I think the "group of death" worked against England - it took so much out of the team they were unable to respond and Brazil deserved to beat them. I'd just like to wish you good luck for the future, and keep smiling. - Yours, etc.,

E.M. CLARKSTONE, Wheatacre Road, Clifton, Nottingham.