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Patchwork of fan portraits create mosaic of Northern Ireland winger Stuart Dallas

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 09/04/2016

Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas whose image dominates a mosaic of fans’ photographs
Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas whose image dominates a mosaic of fans’ photographs

At first glance it looks like any other image of Northern Ireland star Stuart Dallas caught in a moment of celebration.

But closer inspection reveals all is not quite what it seems.

The portrait is a carefully-crafted mosaic based on hundreds of fans' photographs.

It is the first glimpse of a series of striking posters to be released ahead of Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign.

The Irish Football Association plans to turn thousands of photographs of the Green and White Army into 48 giant posters.

These will then be showcased around Northern Ireland in the run-up to the Euros.

The Stuart Dallas image was released on the Northern Ireland team's Facebook site this week as a sneak preview.

It contains around 640 fans' photographs.

And among those included is Carl Frampton.

The boxing champ - a big Northern Ireland fan - gave the project his seal of approval on Twitter.

Northern Ireland's opening Euro 2016 game is just 64 days away.

They kick off against Poland in Nice on June 12.

Michael O'Neill's side also face Ukraine and Germany.

With the countdown well under way, excitement is growing among the fans.

And a group of supporters in Scotland have unfurled an eye-catching banner ahead of their Euro adventure.

The green and white flag pays homage to Kyle Lafferty, the team's leading scorer in the qualifying campaign.

In a nod to the French motto of liberty, equality, fraternity, it reads Liberté, égalité, Lafferté.

Other fans have introduced a touch of Gallic flair to their terrace songs.

Singer-songwriter Jim Lindsay has come up with the toe-tapping fans' anthem We Got the Lingo Sussed.

It starts: "Poland, Germany we don't care... You won't out-sing us when we are over there."

Then it breaks into common French phrases to help the Green and White Army get integrated into all things French. "Que un comment ca va - What about you," chant the fans.

"Je suis votre homme - I'm your man.

"We've got the lingo sussed, we'll soon be on the bus, singing wherever we go.

"It's our wee country, it's our wee team.

"With Michael O'Neill we're living the dream, when you believe dreams can come true keep believing the whole way through."

Earlier this week, Northern Ireland moved up to 26th in the Fifa world rankings, their best ever placing.

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