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'Best fans' hail Northern Ireland players despite Euro 2016 exit

Published 25/06/2016

First Minister Arlene Foster with Northern Ireland players after the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
First Minister Arlene Foster with Northern Ireland players after the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
First Minister Arlene Foster with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward after the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis with his daughters after the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland players are dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland players are dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty and Michael McGovern are dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Corry Evans is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis and Oliver Norwood are dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland'sJosh Magennis is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is dejected at the final whistle after being defeated by Wales 1-0 in Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas applauds the fans after the final whistle during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 25: Ben Davies of Wales celebrates his team's win while Northern Ireland players show their dejection after the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty throws his boots to the fans after the final whistle during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 25: Josh Magennis (2nd L) and Northern Ireland players show their dejection after their team's 0-1 defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis after Wales' Gareth Bale scores against them during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 25: Gareth Bale (L) and Aaron Ramsey (R) of Wales celebrate their team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates on the final whistle during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Northern Ireland during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas with Wales' Ashley Williams during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Northern Ireland during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Northern Ireland during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Northern Ireland during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Wales' Gareth Bale (left) celebrates with teammate Aaron Ramsey and Neil Taylor (right) after seeing his side score their first goal of the game conceded by Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley (not pictured) during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty with Wales' Ben Davies during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis with Wales' Ben Davies during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood with Wales' Aaron Ramsey during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty with Wales' James Chester during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis with Wales' Neil Taylor during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart with Wales' Aaron Hughes during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis with Wales' Neil Taylor during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis with Wales' Ben Davies during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward with Wales' Chris Gunter during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty with Wales' Chris Gunter during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Wales' Gareth Bale battles for the ball with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward (left) and Corry Evans (right) during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Joe Giddens/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis with Wales' Ben Davies during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty with Wales' Ben Davies during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward with Wales' Chris Gunter during Saturday evenings last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Wales' Ashley Williams (left) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty battle for the ball in the air during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Wales' Gareth Bale (centre) battles for the ball against Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes (right) and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Wales' Gareth Bale (centre) battles for the ball against Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes (right) and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty (left) and Wales' Joe Allen battle for the ball during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 25: Gareth Bale of Wales and Oliver Norwood of Northern Ireland compete for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 25: Stuart Dallas of Northern Ireland reacts after missing a chance during the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis (left) and Wales' Aaron Ramsey (centre) battle for the ball during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Wales' Sam Vokes (centre) battles for the ball against Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley (top) and Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Wales' Joe Allen (left) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty battle for the ball during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris.Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Wales player hold a group huddle during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty and Wales' Joe Allen jump for the ballduring the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland players warm up before the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Wales' Gareth Bale during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. : Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Wales' Gareth Bale (top centre) warms up before the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland players during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland players during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland players during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill speaks to his players during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Conor Washington lifts Oliver Norwood as Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty watches on during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Michael McGovern during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguson and Steven Davis during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley, Jamie Ward and Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley, Jamie Ward and Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Corry Evans and Jonny Evans during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Josh Magennis during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguson and Steven Davis during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Michael McGovern during Friday nights training session at the Parc des Princes ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis chases the ball during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Corry Evans chases the ball during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Josh Magennis chases the ball during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas chases the ball during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley , Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ward take a tumble during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 24/6/2016 Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill speaks to Will Grigg and Kyle Lafferty during training at Parc Des Princes in Paris ahead of their Euro 2016, final16 game against Wales on Saturday evening. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The dream has ended - but what a journey.

Ten thousand Northern Ireland fans descended on a huge open air fan zone in Belfast full of hopes that their Euro 2016 adventure would continue.

Those hopes were dashed when a cruel Gareth McAuley own goal handed Wales victory in the last 16 encounter in Paris.

But through the bitter disappointment that descended on the legions of the Green and White Army at the final whistle shone pride at the feats of their beloved team.

When the taste of defeat fades, it will be the heady memories of Northern Ireland's first major finals appearance in 30 years that will endure.

Warren Miskimmin, 43, from Bangor thought the better team lost.

"We were robbed," he insisted.

"The whole campaign has been outstanding. I was in Lyon last week for our game against Ukraine and it was amazing.

"We were the best fans at the Euros. We might not have got through, but we were still the best fans at the tournament."

For Rebecca McConnell from Annalong, Co Down it was a first experience of the electric fanzone atmosphere Belfast has witnessed for each of Northern Ireland's four games.

Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Pacemaker Press 25/6/2016 Northern Ireland v Wales EURO 2016 Final 16 Northern Ireland Fans during this evening's game at Parc De Princes in Paris. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 25/6/2016 Northern Ireland v Wales EURO 2016 Final 16 Northern Ireland Fans during this evening's game at Parc De Princes in Paris. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland fans apply facepaint outside the stadium, as Wales fans walk behind them, prior to the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 25th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's fans at todays game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament at the Parc des Princes, Paris.
Northern Ireland fan Justin Turner ready to support his side against Wales during Saturdays Round of 16 EURO 2016 match at the Parc des Princes, Paris . Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
Northern Ireland fans ready to support side against Wales during Saturdays Round of 16 EURO 2016 match at the Parc des Princes, Paris . Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
Northern Ireland suporters in the stands show their support ahead of the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland fans enjoy the atmosphere outside the stadium prior to the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland fans wave a flag outside a bar prior to the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
A Northern Ireland fan in facepaint prior to the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
OLBIA, ITALY - JUNE 25: Darren Clarke and Amy Boulden pose with the flags of Northern Ireland and of Wales during The Costa Smeralda Invitational golf tournament at Pevero Golf Club - Costa Smeralda on June 25, 2016 in Olbia, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images for Professional Sports Group )
Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland fans pose for a selfie in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Helen McConnell and daughter Lottie, wife and daughter of Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Helen McConnell and daughter Lottie, wife and daughter of Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Helen McConnell and daughter Lottie, wife and daughter of Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Vanessa Chung, wife of Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Juneve Lamont, wife of Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Northern Ireland fans show their support in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland fans show their support in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Northern Ireland legend Gerry Armstrong greets the fans beside the pitch before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Northern Ireland fans cross the Lagan Weir Foot Bridge in Belfast, enroute to the Titanic Fanzone to watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans cross the Lagan Weir Foot Bridge in Belfast, enroute to the Titanic Fanzone to watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans cross the Lagan Weir Foot Bridge in Belfast, enroute to the Titanic Fanzone to watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
A young Northern Ireland fan cheers on his side in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Parc Des Princes, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Book and magazine sales permitted providing not solely devoted to any one team/player/match. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Northern Ireland fans in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fan Neil Armstrong from Ballymena in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans Robert McCreadie, Aaron Baxter, Craig Baxter and Farquhar in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fan Aaron Baxter from Newry in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans Ivan Thompson and John Tilson in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans Neil Melville and Colin Maxwell in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans Alison and Chris McHenry in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Northern Ireland fans in Paris where Northern Ireland will play their final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes.
Jimmy Nesbitt parties with Darren Ryles and friends in Lyon
Jimmy Nesbitt parties with Darren Ryles and friends in Lyon
Jimmy Nesbitt parties with Darren Ryles and friends in Lyon
Northern Ireland fans party with Jimmy Nesbitt in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Northern Ireland fans in France
Jimmy Nesbitt mingles among fans in Lyon. Credit: Green and White Army Caravan in France
Belfast Telegraph journalists Adrian Rutherford and Claire Williamson (right) with Claire Graham.
Northern Ireland football fans descend upon Place Antonin Poncet, adjacent to the fan zone in Lyon, France.
Steven Mawhinney, from Dromore, and friends with Cool FM presenters Pete Snodden and Rebecca McKinney
Steven Mawhinney, from Dromore, with Cool FM presenter Pete Snodden
Steven Mawhinney, from Dromore, in France for the Euro finals
Andrew Kerr (Articlave), Jonno McCaughan (Coleraine), Roger Woodend (New Jersey, USA)
Philip Whyte (42), from South Belfast, and friends stand in front of the Poland team bus
Colin Murray poses with fans in France during the Euros
Mark Hunter (left) from Coleraine who now lives in Vancouver and Matt Livingstone from Coleraine who now lives in London at the Northern Ireland v Poland game on Sunday
Ballyclare man Jonny Lindsay with Jimmy Nesbitt.
Rob Latimer (34) from Dunadry bumps into James Nesbitt in Nice after Northern Ireland v Poland.
Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Pat Jennings (centre) in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Kate Hoey shows her support in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
First Minister Arlene Foster with IFA President Jim Shaw and IFA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson at Poland V Northern Ireland in Nice, France. Photo by Press Eye
Northern Ireland's players pose ahead of the Euro 2016 group C football match between Poland and Northern Ireland at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice. / AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZTOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland fans during Sundays Euro 2016, Group C match against Poland at the Stade de Nice, France.
Michael O'Neill manager of Northern Ireland looks on prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Poland and Northern Ireland at Allianz Riviera Stadium. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland fans show their support in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice.
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis (centre) during the warm-up before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice.
Northern Ireland fans during Sundays Euro 2016, Group C match against Poland at the Stade de Nice, France.
Northern Ireland fans in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice.
A Northern Ireland fan shows her support in the stands before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match at the Stade de Nice, Nice.
Northern Ireland v Poland Euro 2016 Group C Northern Ireland Fans From L-R Graeme Hamilton, Conor Munn, Scott Robinson and Luke McCreery at this afternoons Euro 2016 International at the Allianz stadium in Nice on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland v Poland Euro 2016 Group C Northern Ireland Fans Graeme Hamilton, Conor Munn, Scott Robinson and Luke McCreery with Polish fans at this afternoons Euro 2016 International at the Allianz stadium in Nice on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland v Poland Euro 2016 Group C Northern Ireland Fans Graeme Hamilton, Conor Munn, Scott Robinson and Luke McCreery get a selfie with Polish Fans at this afternoons Euro 2016 International at the Allianz stadium in Nice on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
First Minister Arlene Foster joins Northern Ireland fans in Nice ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
Northern Ireland v Poland Euro 2016 Group C Northern Ireland Fans David , Stuart and Colin Bell at this afternoons Euro 2016 International at the Allianz stadium in Nice on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
First Minister Arlene Foster joins Northern Ireland fans in Nice ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
First Minister Arlene Foster joins Northern Ireland fans in Nice ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
First Minister Arlene Foster joins Northern Ireland fans in Nice ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
Mark Jones and son Jack in Nice with Carl Frampton
Carl Frampton with fellow Northern Ireland fan James Tait in Nice
Northern Ireland supporter and Groom Stuart Stockman (second left) outside the Ma Nolan's Irish pub in Nice, France ahead of his team's opening match against Poland in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. See PA story SPORT Euro2016 StagNI. Photo credit should read: Michael McHugh/PA Wire
Northern Ireland supporters enjoying the sights of Nice, France ahead of the team's opening match against Poland in Euro 2016.
Northern Ireland fans appear on the balcony of their hotel on the seafront near Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. PA
Northern Ireland fans are joined by a Polish football fan as they arrive on the seafront near Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. PA
Northern Ireland fans appear on the balcony of their hotel on the seafront near Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. PA
Northern Ireland fans appear on the balcony of their hotel on the seafront near Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. PA
Northern Ireland fans arrive on the seafront near Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. PA
Northern Ireland fans arrive on the beach near Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. PA
Northern Ireland fans Chris Geoghegan and Richard McKnight from Belfast bump into Gary Lineker in France.
Philip Wright on tour with the Green and White army. They left on a 6am flight to Nice.
Ballymacash Northern Ireland supporter's club head off to France. Pic: Andrew Clarke
David Johnston and fellow Northern Ireland fans head off to France.
Crawford McCullough's 'mancave' in Bangor Co Down.
Northern Ireland flags flying in France. Picture: Dennis Russell
Adam Topping (33) from Scarva Northern Ireland in St Raphael. He has tickets all the way to the final so will not be home until July 11.
A Northern Ireland fan samples some ice cream in Lyon, France. Thursday June 9, 2016. PA
Colin Porter passing the time before he heads to Nice. Pic: Gary Porter
Home for Bedfordshire based Dave Price and his pals for the next two weeks at least
Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans on their way to France for Euro 2016. Pic: Gregg Clarke.
Northern Ireland fans Eddie McCullough and Ian Thompson pictured at the boulangerie in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of the opening Euro 2016 game against Poland in Lyon on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland Fan Ian Thompson from Ballymena travel threw St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson, George McFall , Russell Bridgett , Darren McDonald and Eddie McCullough from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A Local meets with Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson, George McFall , Russell Bridgett , Darren McDonald and Eddie McCullough from Ballymena travel threw St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans on their way to France for Euro 2016. Pic: Gregg Clarke.
Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson, George McFall , Russell Bridgett , Darren McDonald and Eddie McCullough from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans on their way to France for Euro 2016. Pic: Gregg Clarke.
Northern Ireland Fan Russell Bridgett from Ballymena travelling through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson, George McFall , Russell Bridgett , Darren McDonald and Eddie McCullough from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson, George McFall , Russell Bridgett , Darren McDonald and Eddie McCullough from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland fans Eddie McCullough, George McFall, Ian Thompson and Russell Bridgett pictured in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland fans Eddie McCullough, George McFall, Ian Thompson, Darren McDonald and Russell Bridgett pictured in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Local family and now Northern Ireland fans pictured in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of the opening Euro 2016 game against Poland in Lyon on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
The boulangerie in Georges de Reneins, France with its window decorated ahead of the opening Euro 2016 game against Poland in Lyon on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland fans Eddie McCullough, George McFall, Ian Thompson and Russell Bridgett pictured in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland fans Eddie McCullough, George McFall, Ian Thompson, Darren McDonald and Russell Bridgett pictured in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Local family and now Northern Ireland fans pictured in Georges de Reneins, France ahead of the opening Euro 2016 game against Poland in Lyon on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 09th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland Fans Ian Thompson, George McFall , Russell Bridgett , Darren McDonald and Eddie McCullough from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland FanRussell Bridgett from Ballymena travel through St Georges de Reneines in a camper van, on the way to Nice as N Ireland face Poland in their opening match on Sunday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

"I had to come to support the lads," she said.

"It was great."

Husband Mark was sure Northern Ireland deserved victory.

"We were the better team - the better team didn't win," he said.

"The second half we were all over them."

Clint Palmer from Co Fermanagh said there was a real sense of pride across Northern Ireland.

Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye) Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 25 2016. Fans gather at the Northern Ireland fanzone as they take on Wales in the Euro 2016 final 16 game. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland fans take over the Boucher playing fields to support the green and white in their Euro 2016 game against Wales. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker Press

"The guys have done us proud, no matter the result," he said.

"The country has been rallying for them - it's just superb."

His friend Jonathan Graham said he was taken aback by the size of the crowd at the fanzone.

"There are so many here today - all I can see is thousands and thousands," he said. "It's amazing."

Northern Ireland's exploits in France have created some amazing scenes back home, with thousands of supporters coming together to watch the action in huge outdoor fan zones.

And so it was again on Saturday, as council playing fields in south Belfast were transformed into a little corner of Paris for the day.

Behind the main screen there was another huge TV set up just for families, so the youngest fans could secure a good view of the historic clash.

An old-school green caravan emblazoned with the words of Northern Ireland songs that had turned heads as supporters drove it through France was also parked up for the match.

A steady stream of fans posed in front of it, keen to be snapped with the now famous home-on-wheels.

Even the bins on the expansive site were green.

The fan zone was set up in just 48 hours by Belfast City Council after a clash of events forced a late switch.

A privately-run venue in Belfast's Titanic Quarter had proved hugely popular in the group stages of the tournament, with 13,000 attending some games, but the round of 16 matches were unable to be screened there as they coincided with a weekend music festival.

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