German team praises ‘superb’ NI supporters

Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy in the stands during the Euro 2016 Northern Ireland vs Germany game in Paris.
Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy in the stands during the Euro 2016 Northern Ireland vs Germany game in Paris.

There may have been 11 battling players on the pitch - but the Northern Ireland fans drew almost as much praise after match commentary of the Germany game last night.

Former England player Alan Shearer singled out keeper Michael McGovern for keeping out a string of German goals - but in the next breath also paid tribute to the Northern Ireland fans’ “fantastic” performance during the game.

Fellow former England player Ian Wright also praised the Green and White Army’s impact, while former German player Lothar Matthaus noted that their celebrations far outweighed those of German fans - whose team won.

The official German team’s Twitter account gushed: “Your fans are superb, Northern Ireland. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that you make the last 16!”

It also paid tribute to McGovern: “There was only one man taking Manuel Neuer’s shirt home today. Well played, Michael McGovern!”

Taking in the atmosphere among fans in Paris were a string of Ulster celebrities, including actor James Nesbitt, world champion boxer Carl Frampton and golf superstar Rory McIlroy.

Ulster Coronation Street actor Charlie Lawson, who has been giving Churchillian motivational speeches to the team from his Twitter account, posted a video clip shortly after the game.

“Well done boys, absolutely, I take my hat off to you,” he said. “You battled and you battled and you battled. It is not the result we wanted but you never gave up.”

He proposed Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill for First Minister and urged the players to celebrate and keep “everything” crossed that they would make it through to the next stage.