Author Archive | Paul Smith

We knew we were part of the universe of footballers (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1 where a wonderful BBC World Cup short documentary revealed why football is so important in South Africa). As the Robben Island prisoners’ football league, the Makana Football Association, blossomed, the imprisoned players realised how important football was to them (for reasons that will surprise you). The MFA is said to have […]

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We knew we were part of the universe of footballers (part 1)

The World Cup is up and running. Teams are swapping shirts, shaking hands and some nice celebrations (so far the South African’s opening goal celebration is top of the ‘joyous goal scoring celebrations chart’). So far so good. Just a few divers who were publicly shamed in front of worldwide tv audiences as the referees […]

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Welsh Fans Are Amazing

Welsh fans are amazing. Last year, when Ireland finally won our long awaited Grand Slam in Cardiff, I couldn’t help feeling that the Welsh celebrated it as much as we did. A year later I’m back in Dublin for Wales’ last international rugby match …. …to be held in hidden jewel in the crown which […]

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The Magic Carpet

After the extremely tense and very exciting England v Ireland rugby match in Twickenham yesterday*, as always, I met some wonderful colourful characters in Twickenham and this one was a former international who sees the fun in the occasion almost 50 years later. Meet Ron McCarten (photo), who told me that he actually played on […]

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3 Wise Frenchmen Ask for Replay

Frenchman and Arsenal  manager, Arsene Wenger, says “France should offer a replay – which I support personally. We want to beat Ireland properly.” French captain Thierry Henry says a replay of the World Cup play-off with the Republic of Ireland would “be the fairest solution”. France’s former superstar, David Ginola, said “there is no pride […]

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