Northern Ireland's football heroes to feature on giant billboards

Michael McHugh, PA
20 May, 2016 18:00

GIANT billboards featuring the Northern Ireland football squad and manager Michael O'Neill are to go up across the country ahead of the summer's European Championship adventure.

Images of 30 players hoping to make the trip to France will be displayed in their home towns. Star striker Kyle Lafferty's poster will be installed in the Co Fermanagh village where it all began with NFC Kesh.

Representatives from every county have been selected for the extended squad and eye-catching posters will also be erected in Cookstown, Donaghmore, Dungannon and Belfast among others.

Jim Shaw, Irish FA President, said: "These billboards are a fantastic way of showcasing the players as the heroes that they are.

"Each one is a work of art in itself and they really demonstrate in a dynamic way that every part of Northern Ireland will be represented when the team runs onto the pitch in France.

"By showcasing the players as heroes in their own home town we hope to inspire the next generation of players, currently playing football in the parks and streets of their area, that they too could one day represent Northern Ireland in a major football tournament.

"The use of fan pictures to make up the billboard also highlights the breadth of support that this squad has and I have no doubt that the whole country will get behind Michael O'Neill and his players in the coming weeks."

The official Northern Ireland squad of 23 players for Euro 2016 will be announced on May 28 at noon.

Northern Ireland's first fixture is in Nice against Poland on June 12. The next is in Lyon against Ukraine on June 16, and then in Paris against Germany on June 21.

20 May, 2016 18:00 Football/Soccer