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Fans follow sun for crunch European clash

By Maureen Coleman

Published 20/11/2007

Thousands of members of the Green and White Army were jetting off today to the sun ahead of Northern Ireland's crunch match against Spain in Gran Canaria.

A large number of the 4,000 ticket-holders have already arrived on the Spanish island to cheer on their side in the make-or-break European Championship qualifying match tomorrow night.

But many more supporters - some without tickets - were still heading out today, having picked up last minute deals from local travel agents.

Gary McAllister, from the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs, said there was huge excitement among the fans.

"Even if it doesn't go our way, the fans are still really pleased at the performance of this campaign. In my experience this has been the best campaign for Northern Ireland by far."

Meanwhile, goal hero David Healy sent a message of support to a 82-year-old Northern Ireland fan, who was robbed by a gang of thugs as he watched Saturday night's match against Denmark at his Belfast home.

David said: "I was very sorry to hear what happened to Jack.

"Hopefully for Jack and all the other Northern Ireland supporters back home, we will provide some cheer with a great performance and a great result against Spain."

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