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20 years on, U2 and Jason McAteer finally collaborate - with a Dutchman - for official song of Euro 2020

Martin Garrix was just five when McAteer sunk his native Netherlands at Lansdowne Road.

U2 FRONTMAN BONO and lead guitarist The Edge have teamed up with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and, far more notably, former Republic of Ireland international footballer Jason McAteer, for ‘We Are The People’, the official song of this summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020.

McAteer appears just over two minutes into the video for the song, kitting himself out in a 2001/02-era Ireland match jersey and recreating his winning goal against Garrix’s homeland at Lansdowne Road in 2001, which famously occurred in a World Cup qualifier and had nothing whatsoever to do with the European Championships.

Incidentally, U2 feat. Jason McAteer is a collaboration 20 years in the making.

McAteer’s September 2001 winner against the Dutch occurred just hours before U2 played Slane. At full-time of Ireland’s 1-0 victory, Bono phoned team physio Mick Byrne in an attempt to lure McAteer to the concert and bring him out on stage to 80,000 raucous fans.

Bono went as far as offering to send a helicopter for the then-Blackburn midfielder which would have brought him directly to the venue. McAteer politely declined as he had a night out planned with John Aldridge, whom he had personally invited over to Dublin to attend the match.

At Slane later that night, far from scorned, Bono emerged wrapped in a tricolour, shouted “Jason McAteer” and booted a large beach ball into the crowd. During a performance of ‘New Year’s Day’, he told the crowd to “close your eyes and imagine… It’s Jason McAteer!”

He went on to sing the words “beautiful goal” in reference to McAteer’s strike at the end of the band’s rendition of their 2000 anthem ‘Beautiful Day.’

McAteer only learned of these tributes when somebody mentioned it to him at a urinal in a bar in Las Vegas the following year. He would later describe the time he spent with Aldridge in Dublin as “a shit night.”

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Bono also references his home city in the chorus to ‘We Are The People’, singing, “We are the people of the open hand/Streets of Dublin to Notre Dame.”

These lyrics are dated slightly by the fact that Dublin was stripped of its hosting rights to four Euros fixtures as the Irish government could not guarantee it would be willing to welcome Uefa-mandated 25%-capacity crowds to the Aviva Stadium from June.

‘We Are The People’ is available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube or wherever you get your music.

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