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Dublin: 11°C Friday 14 May 2021

25 reasons why the 90s were the best sporting decade

Featuring Carlos Valderrama’s hair and much, much more.

1. Clare won the All-Ireland (twice)

Remember when teams other than Kilkenny were good at hurling? (Pic: INPHO/Billy Stickland)

2. The Renford Rejects was a thing

YoutTube credit: ROTSSisalive

The best TV programme of the 90s bar none.

3. As was Dream Team

YouTube credit: thedragonshufc

The show that made Dean Sturridge famous.

4. The famous four-in-a-row between Dublin and Meath took place

Maybe they should have just played next goal wins (Pic: INPHO).

5. Sky television descended from the heavens in a blimp, inventing modern-day football in the process

And Rupert Murdoch basically ruled the world (Pic: AP Photo/Martin Cleaver).

6. Rugby was still a thing sporting hipsters could be proud of, with its non-professional players and crazily big jerseys

Then it went all mainstream (Pic: INPHO).

7. Some footballers had really nice hair

Gotta love Carlos Valderrama’s flamboyance (Pic: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport).

8. Or sometimes, they had no hair at all

Oldham cult hero, Andy Ritchie, rocking the bald look (Pic: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images).

9. Jonah Lomu was in his prime

YouTube credit: churrbaycuzzy g

10. As was René Higuita

YouTube credit: GBTaxi

11. Sean Boylan seemed omnipotent

He was still going strong circa 1999 (Pic: INPHO/Billy Stickland).

12. Blackburn actually won the Premier League

Back then, they had some top players, such as… erm, Jason Wilcox? (Pic: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport)

13. Grey and multi-coloured football jerseys were all the rage

The horror! The horror! (Pics: and Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport)

14. Kildare made the All-Ireland final

Kildare lineout at Croke Park in September 1998 – not something you see every year (Pic: INPHO/Patrick Bolger).

15. Ireland was good at swimming (or at least, we briefly thought we were)

Let’s just forget everything that happened thereafter (INPHO/Billy Stickland).

16. Sonia O’Sullivan made us proud

Her athletics feats were matched only by THAT haircut (Pic: INPHO/Tom Honan).

17. Steve Collins beat up pretty much everyone he faced

Ireland 1-0 England (Pic: INPHO/Billy Stickland).

18. Boxing was genuinely exciting and unpredictable

And also included the occasional instance of cannibalism (Pic: JACK DEMPSEY/AP/Press Association Images).

19. Probably the greatest game in Premier League history happened

Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Newcastle pretty much sealed Man United’s title triumph (Pic: David Kendall/PA Archive/Press Association Images)

And Kevin Keegan lost his sanity amid the drama…

YouTube credit: ChuckleChannel

20. Italia 90 was basically one big party for the country

And Paul McGrath acted like he was that guy at the end of The Breakfast Club (Pic: INPHO).

21. Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi were the original Wozilroy-style sporting golden couple

Who needs Posh and Becks? (Pic: David Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images)

22. Brian O’Driscoll was just a kid

That lad looks decent (Pic: INPHO/Patrick Bolger).

23. The Tour de France came to Dublin

And a year later, someone called Lance Armstrong won the event for the first time (Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan)

24. Fantasy Football was brilliantly cruel

YouTube credit: burgo78

And Jason Lee was invariably the subject of its humour.

25. Cork City held Bayern Munich to a draw in the UEFA Cup

Stefan Effenberg and co didn’t know what hit them (Pic: INPHO).

What have we missed? Let us know your favourite sporting memories from the 90s.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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