The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Archive for the ‘Northern Ireland’ Category

A bullet in the post

Posted by steigs on April 17, 2008

Awhile back, I noted that Cliftonville of Northern Ireland was off to an especially good start this season.  They’ve faded a bit recently, down to third in the most recent table, eight points back of Linfield with a game in hand.  Still, it’s a very good season for the Reds…which can bring the wrong kind of attention in a city like Belfast.

A bullet sent through the post to [Cliftonville manager Eddie] Patterson was intercepted at the sorting office in the run-up to last Saturday’s Irish Cup semi-final – which Cliftonville lost 2-1 to Linfield FC – threatening efforts to reduce tension at the game, played on neutral ground at the Oval in Belfast.

The authorities are trying to do their best to tamp down this misguided fandom.  Linville’s manager offered the right kind of reaction:

I trust the police will apprehend the idiot who has done this. Words like condemnation are an understatement.

Yes, apprehend the idiot, please. 

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A friendly “fortress” called Solitude

Posted by steigs on December 10, 2007

One of my favorite soccer sites is UEFA’s official web site.  It’s a great way to investigate some of the lesser leagues of Europe, to learn about obscure UEFA Cup sides or lively title races or checking in on teams I once saw play.

I was pleased, and startled, to find that Cliftonville is leading the Northern Irish league.

The what?  Yes, little Northern Ireland has its own league, with teams that rarely dent the sporting pages of the UK, let alone that of the rest of Europe.  But I spent a particularly pleasant evening watching the Reds of Cliftonville at their “stadium” known as Solitude.  After the jump, learn more about murals and historic pubs and some comedic defending…

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