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6 days to Euro 2012: Ronnie Whelan's 'shinner'

The ex-Liverpool midfielder’s volley against the Soviet Union remains one of the most memorable goals in the country’s history.

“I DON’T EVEN know why I was there. That wasn’t even my position to be in,” Ronnie Whelan said last year, recalling that famous goal in Ireland’s second Euro ’88 match with the USSR.

“It was just a long throw from Mick (McCarthy), I just decided to get myself onto the edge of the box and see what happens. Paul (McGrath) played a little bit more defensively than me and when it comes across you just think ‘I might make a right fool of myself here’, but I don’t really care. It’s a European Championships so if it goes in I’m a bit of a hero.

“We had a lot of gifted footballers on our team and that afternoon we decided to play. Jack didn’t tell us to play, he said the same thing – to put it in the corners and go up and attack them.

But we played some tremendous football that day. It’s probably one of the best performances we’ve seen from an Irish team for an awful long time.

“People still remember it (the goal) now. They all call it ‘the shinner’.”

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Ben Blake

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