Belfast Telegraph

Twitter tales of Irish League fans scoring a load of laughs right across globe

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

They are renowned for their terrace rivalries.

But football fans across Northern Ireland have set aside their club allegiances to rally behind a Twitter campaign sharing what they love most about the local game.

Thousands of Irish League fans, including some of our best-known celebrities, have got involved, with players and managers also Tweeting some behind-the-scenes secrets.

The hashtag #IrishLeagueBehaviour has been so popular in recent days it has been trending on the social media site around the world since it was launched.

One humorous post made reference to one player who had to finish work early so he could play in a Champions League qualifier that evening.

And journalists shared their musings at being confronted by disgruntled players for giving them less than complimentary post-match ratings.

Among the well-known faces to get involved are Radio Ulster presenter and Coleraine FC fan Alan Simpson. He Tweeted: "Winning the Newry 50/50 half-time draw – £8."

Former Cliftonville manager Liam Beckett posted: "I had one player who actually used the excuse that his Grandad had died four times in two years, he hated training."

Co Fermanagh club Ballinamallard United had a light-hearted jibe at travelling away supporters.

"Away fans from up the country coming to Ferney Park for the first time and asking if we take sterling," they said.

BBC commentator Joel Taggart enjoyed a joke at the expense of his close friend and colleague Jackie Fullerton.

"Shouting 'Oi Jackie, who knits your hair?," he said.

Crusaders player Chris Morrow tweeted: "Playing in the snow with a white ball as the orange ball burst at half-time."

A Glentoran counterpart also chipped in: "Scoring two and the manager rushing to take you off 'cause they don't want you to take a match ball home," he said.

Fan John Rooney wondered if the lives of the game's greatest stars mirrored those of his local heroes.

"Seeing your Irish League player neighbour walk his dog and wonder if Ronaldo or Messi ever have to do that," he posted.

Mr Beckett said the online campaign showed the lighter-side of local football, and promised to reveal more changing rooms secrets in the coming days.

"In football there are some hilarious moments and you get some peculiar stories over the years," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It's great fun and shows the fun side of the game."

It has proved such a hit, soccer's counterparts in the GAA are also getting involved.

It's under the hashtag #GAABehaviour.

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