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Ronnie Whelan dusts off one of the lesser known Ray Houghton Euro 88 tales


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Where would we be without the services of Ray Houghton, Ronnie Whelan and Kevin Moran?

One thing's for sure, Euro 88 would have been far less memorable without the former Ireland trio.

Thirty years on from our first ever major tournament, that trio reunited on stage at our Off The Ball Roadshow at Vicar Street in Association with BoyleSports, reminiscing about their experiences at that European Championships which featured a famous victory over England thanks to Houghton, a draw against USSR due to Whelan's athletic finish as well as running the eventual winners Netherlands close. 

Chatting to Kevin Kilbane and Nathan Murphy on stage, a few funny tales of old were dusted off and one bit of high jinx that has rarely been told before by Whelan.

"When we got back from Germany..." Whelan began, before Houghton jokingly motioned to leave the couch upon realisation of the story to come.

"We were back into Dublin and there was a tour of the city. So we were drinking all around the tour of the city. 

"We got back to the hotel and myself, Ray and Aldo were on a 9, 10 o'clock flight and we decided in our wisdom that we'd phone up the wives and say we can't get back out, 'there's a big dinner'".

In the end, those excuses did not fly and they were straight over to catch their flights, with a few more pints in between.

"We take off and we're only five minutes into the air and Ray goes, 'I need the toilet. I've got to go to the toilet'. 

"He was adamant and he was climbing over me and he climbs over me and he gets up out of his chair and the toilet is there. So I'm thinking he's going to go to the toilet. He takes one step towards the toilet and then he turns around and the whole plane is packed and he looks down the plane and he goes, 'Who put the ball in the English net? I did, I did!'"  


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