Boxer Carl Frampton cheers on Northern Ireland at Euro 2016

Carl Frampton
Carl Frampton

One of Northern Ireland’s most successful boxers has made an eve-of-game rallying call to the team.

Former world champion Carl Frampton urged on the Green and White Army as thousands of fans flooded into Nice ahead of Sunday’s game against Poland.

The Mediterranean sunspot was swamped by noisy fans who hailed each other from passing cars and across streets in a display of exuberant camaraderie.

The famous pebble strand was noisy with the sound of aircraft approaching low over the bay, part of an “airlift” of thousands of fans ahead of the game.

Supporters have travelled from Australia and the US for the crunch fixture.

Frampton said: “We all know the Euros really start in Nice on Sunday. Green and White Army.”

One lifelong Northern Ireland supporter was a former amateur footballer who played with some of Northern Ireland’s past greats.

Michael Wallace, 55, from Portstewart on the North Coast, strolled along the baking hot promenade which has been a gathering point for fans.

He said: “It is just like a dream come true.

“Now we are here, we are in heaven, I know we are, a beautiful country with beautiful people.”

The diehard supporter said he played with Jackie Evans, the father of Evans brothers Jonny and Corry who both made the squad, and added their father would be proud.

Some fans have been hit by disruption to flights and trains but most were in good spirits ahead of Northern Ireland’s most high-profile tournament for a generation.