Euro 2016

Northern Ireland fans in Paris don't let defeat at the hands of Wales get them down

Northern Ireland fans refused to let the defeat get them down

WILL Grigg's On fire is the song of the Euro 2016 tournament and the irony is that he never got off the bench during Northern Ireland's campaign which ended today when they lost 1-0 to Wales.

The fanzone in Paris was packed full of Welsh, Polish and English fans who vastly outnumbered Northern Ireland supporters.

If you were going by the number of times Will Grigg's On Fire rang out you'd have thought the fanzone was populated exclusively by the Green and White Army.

Want to make friends in a hurry? Start that song and you'll be swamped. Then you'll be lifted on someone's shoulders and the wood chip that's underfoot will come raining down on you courtesy of the same people who'll also throw plastic glasses full of beer (you hope) at you. After that you'll be a legend.

 Will Grigg's On Fire always gets the crowd going

Berlin man Kevin Schulte knew the song and thinks Will Griggs is fantastic "because he is every time on fire".

He's a massive Northern Ireland fan and was kitted out in a jersey and cheering on the team.

"I'm a total football fanatic. I like all the outsider teams," was how he explained it.

Even at that correctly he predicted a 1-0 win for Wales.

Kevin is hopeful the Republic of Ireland team can get their own back on France tomorrow but says the home nation has an advantage.

"France has had three days more to keep calm and chill. Ireland will have tired legs, not so athletic. It'll be a tight game.

"I think 2-0 to France. Sorry."

His first prediction was correct but fingers crossed his second is way off the mark.

Phillip Rodgers from Whitehead has been enjoying the banter between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans.

He had been at the first three group games after walking from Rome to Nice for the charity Irish Support Agency and had caught buses and trains to reach Paris in time for the Wales game.

"I've been to every game. It's been great craic. The boys from down south have been good craic, there's brilliant banter. We all love a sing song."

His best moment? "The Germany game. I know Ukraine was the big one but the Germany game, the atmosphere before and after, I've never seen anything like it."

Fabien Magnenou is French and was in the fanzone to cheer on Northern Ireland.

"Northern Ireland has become one of the most popular teams among the French. It's a little country, a little team, the fans are very numerous and very polite."

He's convinced their joie de vivre has helped the reputation of football supporters.

"It was a good thing to see that football fans could be polite and fun, after what happened in Marseilles."

One disappointed Northern Ireland fan had the good grace to wish Wales well as they progress to the quarter finals.

Stephen Burnside from Bangor chose Steven Davis as his man of the match although one of his friends plumped for Craig Cathcart.

And his final thoughts on the game? "Good luck Wales, from Northern Ireland".

Is it any wonder fans in green jerseys are so popular in France?

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Euro 2016