Northern Ireland v Korea Republic

Words Heidi McAlpin


Honey Boyd leaps for joy.

Baby Katie Clarke; her dad John loves his footy and his daughter.

Deep within the bowels of social media platforms replete with GAWA bants, you’ll find an ongoing debate about what exactly constitutes a Northern Ireland Superfan.

Take Geoff Bannatyne, who confesses: “My sister no longer speaks to me as I chose San Marino away over my niece's wedding. I'd make the same decision again in a heartbeat.” Nice. Or what about Martin Lowry? He reveals: “My wife still isn't speaking to me after going to Switzerland two days after the birth of my wee girl Cassy.” Now that’s dedication. And while we’re on the subject of family v footy, John Clarke spent most of the Northern Ireland- Germany game checking his phone every two minutes as his wife was due to give birth that night.

Mere mention of the word superfan has many swearing at their screen (I know this because they type rude words in CAPITAL LETTERS), while others positively embrace the moniker with all manner of superfan shenanigans. In an attempt to unearth true GAWA DNA a call went out to see who could claim the inaugural Norn Iron Superfan title. Travelling fans with more airmiles than Judith Chalmers don’t count. It’s just luck they have supportive partners, bosses or bank managers. No, we’re talking Norn Iron devotees prepared to risk tattoo parlour pain, family disownment and their pet’s dignity to earn the coveted accolade.


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