Northern Ireland sports fans tell of their sadness for the losing England team

There was huge sympathy last night for England among sporting fans in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 8:02 am
Dejected England fans leave Trafalgar Square, London, after Italy beat England on penalties to win the UEFA Euro 2020 Final

Baroness (Kate Hoey), the former Labour MP who was once UK sports minister and is a passionate member of the Green and White Army, tweeted out in dread when there were no victors after extra time.

“Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh,” she posted to 160+ likes from Twitter followers, “not penalties”.

After England went on to lose to Italy in that shoot-out, she said it is “always difficult for players being brought on just to take penalties. Tonight it certainly didn’t work but just think how a few years ago supporters would have given a lot to even be in the final”.

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The former DUP leader and first minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster also took to Twitter after the defeat. “At least tomorrow is the 12th!! Hard luck England,” she wrote.

The former UTV political editor Ken Reid said: “Italy were the better team. Full stop.”

The Ulsterman Charlie Lawson, a former Coronation Street actor, was unusually quiet on Twitter last night, saying nothing about the loss, but he had on Wednesday expressed his joy at England reaching the last two.

Mark Devenport, the English former BBC NI political editor, who days ago was telling the News Letter of his “delight” at his team reaching thef finals, said: “Well done Italy. Oh how I hate penalty shoot outs!”

And the former Northern Ireland and Manchester United player Keith Gillespie made reference last night to the controversy over England fans’ use of the tune ‘Sweet Caroline,’ which has in recent decades become an NI anthem.

He tweeted out: “Can we have our song back now please”

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