John Aldridge

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Interior of a peasant family’s hut during the Great Famine, 1845-1849.  Illustration from The Life and Times of Queen Victoria, by Robert Wilson. Photograph:  The Print Collector/Getty Images

‘Are not all manly appeals lost upon on a scoundrel who lives with his pig, like his pig; and every but the way he should live – ON his pig.” So wrot(...)

World Cup, Stadio Sant’Elia, Cagliari, Italy,  1990. Ireland’s  Kevin Sheedy scores a vital goal. File photograph: Inpho

1. June 11th, 1990 World Cup (Cagliari) Republic of Ireland 1 (Kevin Sheedy, 73) England 1 (Gary Lineker, 9). You might remember this one. Of all pe(...)

Ireland players celebrate after qualifying for the 2002 World Cup after their playoff against Iran in Tehran. Photograph:  Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

1966 World Cup Irish goalkeeper Pat Dunne can only watch as Jose Antonio Ufarte scores the only goal of the playoff for the 1966 World Cup (...)

Jack Charlton and assistant Maurice Setters walk out into the cauldron of Windsor park to play against Northern Ireland in 1993. Photograph: Pacemaker

Ask any reporter and they’ll tell you being inside a glassed-in press box is no way to watch a sporting event. Echoey, removed and unnatural. But on t(...)

“For a few heady days that June, the field beside our house became a national stage. Ground capacity, stretched even by the 300 who might attend a Stedfast Cup match against one of the local glamour teams (Tunney Meat Packers from Clones were the Barcelona of my childhood) was overwhelmed.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The word “surreal” is overused these days, for circumstances often only mildly unusual. But I feel justified in applying it to my memories of June 199(...)

Jack Charlton at the February 1995 fixture at Lansdowne Road between the Republic and Ireland and England which had to be abandoned after English fans rioted. Photograph: PA Wire

Tributes from the world of football and wider society have poured in for former Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton, with Taoiseach Micheál Mart(...)

Belgian goalkeeper Jean Marie Pfaff claims the ball ahead of  Spanish forward Emilio Butragueno during the World Cup quarter-final in Puebla, Mexico in June 1986. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Easily the most thrilling 45 minutes I’ve ever known – up to April 1987 – is spent standing behind Jean-Marie Pfaff. Actually, I’m perched slightly ab(...)

The Irish team in an open-top bus are welcomed by the crowds in Dublin on their return from the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Photograph: Inpho

The obvious concern with a documentary such as The Boys In Green (RTÉ One, 9.35pm) is that it will take itself and its subject matter too seriously. (...)

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, manager Jürgen Klopp  and Virgil van Dijk celebrate after the Champions League semi- final, second leg match against Barcelona  at Anfield. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Good. Gawd. Almighty. As a man from Govan once put it, “football – bloody hell”. And even if you were raised to regard Liverpool as the Devil’s Sp(...)

‘King’ Kenny Dalglish, still fondly remembered on the Kop at Anfield. However my childhood dreams of one day sharing a  pitch at Liverpool with him soon evaporated.  Alex Livesey /Getty Images

Kenny Dalglish was born on the fourth of March, 1951. I know this without needing to look it up. As a boy, the date – gleaned from the back of a Topps(...)

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