Research commissioned by Republic of Ireland football sponsor Three mobile tapped into the emotions of Irish football fans ahead of the Euros. Most of us – 93 per cent – expect a lift in the national mood of with 15 per cent even suggesting the summer of Irish football produces a baby boom. In the build up to the opening game against Sweden at 5pm on Monday, 54 per cent of Irish football fans describe their mood as “excited” or “hopeful”.
It explains why fans cited a “never-say-die-attitude”, “hard-working” and “pride” as the traits they most admire in Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad. Irish fans are also nostalgic, with 46 per cent believing the Euros will bring the country back to Italia ’90. Packie Bonner’s historic save was chosen by a third of them as their most memorable football moment.
Nostalgia gives way to poignancy as one in four respondents said more personal moments of watching their kids play or playing themselves as youngsters were their most memorable moments. Fans also put their faith in pre-match rituals. The research by Ignite found one in three fans have a lucky routine when supporting the Boys in Green.
One in five sticking to the same places and people when they watch Ireland play. Some 15 per cent are superstitious about wearing the same jersey or their lucky socks or boxers. Over 94 per cent of fans said they will use more than one channel of communication during the matches. The most popular way cited at 60 per cent was in person, 46 per cent will use social media, 45 per cent will text or send a message on WhatsApp/Viber and a quarter will phone.