Liam Brady

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Michael Pentland aged 10 from Belfast watches the  Carling Nations Cup match between Wales and  Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in 2011, where the attendance was 529. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

I blame Liam Brady. As a soccer-obsessed child I was desperate to attend an Ireland match but faced one insurmountable problem. The old Lansdowne Road(...)

Brazil’s supporters watch their team take on Germany at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the Maracana stadium. File photograph: Getty Images

The Maracana wasn’t so much built as a venue for the 1950 World Cup as the stage on which Brazil would win it. When things didn’t quite go to plan, th(...)

In his 2016 autobiography there’s a typical line from Jack Charlton. He saw someone drinking Coke and said: “What are you drinking that s*** for? Guin(...)

Jack Charlton of Leeds United goes through before scoring past Arsenal’s Bob Wilson at Elland Road, 1971. Photograph: PA Wire

In the 1966 World Cup, I supported the Soviet Union. I did this on humanitarian grounds. A Christian Brother told me that the Russian players would be(...)

Irish fans  in the stands of the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa for the World Cup round of 16 game against Romania in 1990. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

This summer will go down as the strangest that Ireland has ever experienced- except for those hallucinogenic few weeks that were Italia 90. Thirty yea(...)

Huge crowds would regularly turn out to watch the seven-a-side tournaments at the Gloucester Diamond with residents watching from the windows. Photograph: North Inner City Folklore Project

There’s a photograph of a woman looking out of her window at a quiet Foley Street below. All around her are boarded up windows. The buildings up and d(...)

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(...)

Eamon Zayed in action for Bray Wanderers in 2002. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Few of the young Irish footballers who head for Britain each year will fulfil their dreams, but in many cases the disappointment of those who return i(...)

Keith Andrews and Stephen Kenny are the new face of Ireland’s coaching staff. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Keith Andrews says he is honoured to be Ireland’s assistant manager after what has been a “whirlwind” week for everyone associated with Stephen Kenny’(...)

1/9/2001 World Cup QualifierRepublic of Ireland vs HollandRoy Keane of Ireland tackles Marc Overmars of HollandMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

On St Patrick’s Day there were a lot of greatest Irish XIs named by folk with some unexpected spare time. None, or very few, approached this as a cros(...)

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