Belfast Telegraph

Ed Sheeran at Croke: Belfast couple's random act of kindness brightens up stranger's day

Ed Sheeran played to an 80,000-strong crowd at Croke Park on Friday night but for at least one of those revellers, attending the gig came as a complete surprise — thanks to a thoughtful Belfast couple.

Sheeran fan Katie Stevenson and her boyfriend Frankie happened to have a spare ticket for the concert.

On their way to Croke they met a stranger called Nidva and invited her to come along.

Katie said on Facebook: "So we had a spare ticket and found a homeless lady on a bridge and asked her to come along. Here we are at Croke Park with Nidva. A little something so small can put a smile on someone's face."

Meanwhile Sheeran's gig has been receiving rave reviews.

In a surprise for revellers the 24-year-old singer was joined by Dublin rockers Kodaline as the band sang their hit 'All I Want'.

And he set the crowds wild again when he returned to the stage for an encore... in a GAA jersey and an Irish flag draped around his shoulders.

Sheeran will have entertained some 160,000 Irish fans this weekend and is a regular visitor to Ireland, where his grandmother still lives.

The award-winning star has spent the last few days hanging out with the 91-year-old, eating pasta and playing with her dog.

“Nothing Rock n Roll,” Ed confessed before the massive gig. “I want to catch up with my gran and make cups of tea, not go out and have 15 jager bombs, but that’s not to say that won’t happen either.

“I can’t handle more than one Guinness anymore,” he added. “Anything more than one feels like a meal.”

The Yorkshire native revealed that Dublin is his favourite location in the world to play gigs, no matter if it’s to a packed stadium of fans at Croke Park or to an intimate audience at Whelans or Doyles.

“I’m upset we can only do two Irish gigs. I want to spend a whole week playing here. The Irish fans are just mental and up for anything, you don’t even need to get them warmed up. All my best concerts were in Dublin.”

The chart topper stated that Irish music has been intrinsic to his upbringing, and he sought influence from Christy Moore and Planxty when growing up.

“Irish music in general, I was brought up on it. It’s definitely influenced me. I think unlike any other country, Irish people have music in their soul and I think that's because they're brought up listening to traditional music from a young age.” he said.

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