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Republic of Ireland Soccer Facts & Information
The following is a selection of facts about Irish soccer facts and miscellaneous information about the Republic of Ireland football team.
The first player to be sent off for the Republic of Ireland was John Dempsey. The central defender Dempsey, who played for Fulham, Chelsea, and the Philadelphia Furies, was sent off in a 1970 World Cup qualifier match against Hungary, at the Nep Stadium, Budapest on 5 November 1969.
The Republic were beaten 4-0 by the Hungarians. Dempsey went on to score the winning goal for Chelsea in 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the 1971 European Cup Winners Cup final in Athens.
St Patrick's Day Internationals
Two Irish internationals were born on St Patrick's Day, the Irish national holiday. Former full back Paddy Mulligan was born on 17 March 1945. Ex-QPR player Gary Waddock was born on St Patrick's Day in 1962. Republic of Ireland soccer manager, the Italian Giovanni Trapattoni, was also born on St Patrick's Day in 1939.
There is a widely held belief that the German international football team wears green jerseys for their away colours as a tribute to the Irish. Seemingly this was because the Republic of Ireland was the first team to play West Germany after World War II. It may indeed be a German tribute to the the Irish but in actual fact West Germany's first opponents after the Second World War was Switzerland. [Contributor Rod Bishop has kindly pointed out that green & white are the official colours of the German Football Federation]
Packie Bonner's 21st Birthday Present
The great Irish goalkeeper, Packie Bonner, made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in Bydgoszcz against Poland on 24 May 1981 . It was a friendly match but unfortunately for Bonner and for the Irish, Poland ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
His last match in goals for Ireland was at home to Bolivia fifteen years later on 15 June 1996. The score line was also 3-0 except this time the Irish were victorious on home soil at Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium).
There are plenty more such soccer facts and statistics but if you have any gems that you think should be included or if you have any corrections please contact Soccer Ireland.
Republic of Ireland Goal Facts - Irish Goal Information - Ireland Goal Statistics - Irish Goal Scorers