Having secured qualification for a major tournament for the first time in 30 years Northern Ireland fans will descend on France this summer with the aim of making up for lost time.
Here’s how you’ll spot the Green and White Army amidst the rest of the football fans…
1. Eternal optimists
Not only will the Green and White Army be going to France convinced Northern Ireland can win the whole thing, but there will be plenty flying out without a ticket, confident they’ll meet a fella out there who can sort them out.
Northern Ireland fans can’t be accused of singing when they’re winning. They’ll sing when they’re drawing, losing or even when the match has been postponed. They’ve also been known to sing when they’re eating, drinking and even sleeping. Armed with a collection of old favourites and new releases get ready for Euro 2016: The Musical.
They’re not always note perfect, but there’s plenty of heart and soul as evidenced in the following video…
3. Keen linguists
One thing that’s guarranteed is that fans will attempt the lingo in a bid to impress the hosts. Expect plentiful helpings of ‘Je voudrais’ and ‘S’il vous plait’, and for comedy effect, there’ll be the odd ‘Merci Boke-up’.
4. Fancy dress
People from Northern Ireland relish any opportunity to dress up. It’s generally accepted that as a skewed tribute to the host nation you’ll parody their national stereotype. Next summer in France expect fake moustaches and berets galore. It’s probably a look best not brought back to NI as you could be mistaken for a 1980’s paramilitary.
5. Sun protection
We’re a nation who understands the need to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays. Each and every fan will take steadfast precautionary action against sunburn… by packing a baseball hat.
Regardless of the fact France is reknown for some of the finest white and red wine in the world as well as being famed for Champagne and Cognac, Northern Ireland fans will bring enough Buckfast to last them the entire tournament. And if they go out early, they’ll just have to up their intake.