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Euro 2016: Famous fan Nesbitt and Norn Iron old boy Gillespie have ball with travelling troops

By Allan Preston

Published 18/06/2016

Former Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie was seen crowdsurfing over fans
Former Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie was seen crowdsurfing over fans

It was "une nuit spectaculaire" for the Green and White Army's celebrity corps celebrating Northern Ireland's historic 2-0 victory over Ukraine on Thursday.

Actor James Nesbitt led the charge attempting to talk in French in a video taken by a fan in Lyon.

He said: "Everyone in Tweedies bar...Tout le monde ...il faut avoir ...une nuit spectaculaire." Loosely translated it meant, 'Everyone, have a spectacular night.'

The actor had secured a VIP ticket to the Ukraine game, or so he thought, from friend and ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. But a source close to Mr Nesbitt told the Belfast Telegraph that when the ticket arrived in his hotel it was actually for the Republic of Ireland v Belgium match.

After a nervous call to the IFA the day was saved, with Mr Nesbitt getting seats close to the dug-out.

Elsewhere in Lyon the euphoria of the evening was evident as former Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie was seen crowdsurfing over fans.

Charlie Lawson, the Fermanagh- born former Coronation Street actor, showed his feverish excitement with a video message on Twitter.

He danced and waved a flag as he sang: "Come on the Ulster boys, making all the noise!"

With a feisty warning to Northern Ireland's next opponents he added:"Germany, watch your friggin' asses!"

Boxer Carl Frampton took a break from his training camp to watch the game at the London Northern Ireland Supporters' Club, calling the victory "one of the proudest moments of my life".

He told BBC Radio Ulster: "I knew that they'd have a real go against Ukraine, they had to. They played it like a cup final and it was fantastic to see. I think Michael O'Neill deserves a lot of credit and so do all the boys. Genuinely, it was one of the proudest moments of my life."

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