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The ingenuity of the desperate soccer fan | Print |  Email
Monday, 21 November 2011

Conor Cunningham, of Ballincollig in Cork, became something of a celebrity on Thursday as news of how, without a ticket, he became a spectator at Ireland’s match in Estonia on the previous Friday night. The 27-year-old part-time fitness instructor tried to bluff his way into the ground as a member of the security staff but was turned away. He did notice an open door and on entering found an Estonian track suit which he donned over his jeans and Irish jersey.

This turned out to be his passport into the ground as, carrying a net of footballs, he found himself on the side line with the only vacant seat beside the Estonian manager. He chanced that but after a time a UEFA official noticed too many in the dug-out and told him to move. He then parked himself beside a television camera man but was later spotted by the same official who said he would have to go into the stand and pointed to a seat six rows back.

That is where he watched the game, trying not to show his emotions when Ireland scored. When it was all over he went back onto the pitch to join the Irish team in their lap of honour, and no one questioned the Estonian “official” who was taking such delight in the Irish victory.

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