We thought the principality
Would brush us off with ease,
And no-one voiced opinions contradictory.
But lo! in actuality
We brought them to their knees
And even snatched an unexpected victory.
The first half started brightly,
We were massive in defence,
We never let them get into their rhythm.
We shepherded them tightly,
Dunne and Felix were immense,
And Harte and Stevie Finnan joined in with ‘em.
And when the game restarted,
A great miracle occurred,
We pinched ourselves for fear that we were dreaming.
Kilbane, the lion-hearted
Soared like some gigantic bird,
And nodded home to leave the green fans beaming.
We hung on with great courage
As the home team battled back,
Distraught at that shock goal that they’d conceded.
Their fans tried to encourage
Them to go for blind attack,
Believing that was what their game plan needed.
Of course they scored a screamer
That would shatter Ireland’s hopes
Of taking one of Europe’s famous scalps.
Perhaps I am a dreamer,
But we had them on the ropes,
Beneath the snowy-capped Italian Alps.
But as the minutes ticked away
With Ireland hanging on,
We prayed that we could hold out for a draw.
But Stephen Ireland made the day,
The mighty Sans were gone,
And the match was added to our football lore.
The papers all went crazy
As the fans danced through the night,
Stan and John Delaney were exalted.
The memory is hazy,
I was drunk with sheer delight
(And also with a 25-year malted.)
My grandkids will come calling
When I’m wrinkled and half daft,
And beg me to impart to them the story
Of how we sent them sprawling
Through fine artistry and craft
In that great night of European glory.