herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

For me, 1994 was the stand-out summer of sport and good fun

I VIVIDLY remember 1994 because of the World Cup in America.

If you weren't around for the two World Cups in 1990 and 1994 you just can't understand what a phenomenon it was. By 1994 we were nearing the end of the era of 'Jack's Army', nevertheless we were still in a golden age of football.

I remember the RDS put on a special pitch in the arena and everyone would flock there to watch the match. It was just a great place to have a pint and enjoy the match. I don't remember going with anyone in particular, I think it was just the thing to do that summer.

They had a marching band playing at half-time, I think it was the Artane Boys, the whole thing was unique to say the least. I live about four miles from the venue so it would have been a very handy spot to go to from home or after work with 2fm.

Atmosphere

The first match sticks out particularly, Italy vs Ireland, Ray Houghton scored a magnificent goal to win the game for us.

The atmosphere in the RDS was just amazing for that historic win, as it was throughout the tournament.

It felt like there wasn't a person in the whole venue that was supporting our opponents.

We went out finally in the last 16 to Holland, just shy of matching our only other World Cup performance meeting Italy in the quarter-finals in 1990.

I know the next summer 1995, is remembered for being a real scorcher. And along with Dublin's famous victory over Tyrone in the All-Ireland it was a classic summer of sport.

However, for me 1994 will always stand out as being extremely memorable for the mood that swept the whole country. I don't think we have seen the likes of it since.

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