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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Jon Walters and President Michael D Higgins in one of the great selfies

The Ireland forward spoke of his immense pride at helping the country to Euro 2016.

JON WALTERS IS some man for one man.

Ireland Bosnia Euro Soccer Source: Peter Morrison

He’s become a national hero, icon and legend and his brace tonight ensured Ireland’s passage through to next summer’s European Championships.

The Stoke forward, normally such a composed and level-headed operator, struggled to keep his emotions in check as the magnitude of the achievement began to sunk in.

Walters had spearheaded Ireland’s qualification bid and scored crucial goals throughout, including four in his five outings in a green jersey.

“The whole team on the pitch were heroes, Richard [Keogh] at the back, Darren [Randolph], unbelievable from everyone. We got there in the end, we got there the hard way but we got there,” he told Sky Sports at full-time.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, to qualify and play the way we did, it was unbelievable. You’ve just got to take it all in because these moments don’t come around very often in people’s careers.

“To have this special group of players, my wife and children watching, it’s a very special moment.”

And the occasion even allowed for a rare selfie.

Emotional Eamon Dunphy: ‘We’ve had a lot of dark days but this is a terrific moment’

‘It’s pronounced Jean Waltèrs’ – the best reaction to Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualification

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Ryan Bailey

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