Belfast Telegraph

Fans prepared to give up the day job to back Republic in France

An Irish fan was prepared to give up his job so he could go to Euro 2016 and cheer on the boys in green.

Paul Maharaj, 37, who is originally from Kilkenny but lives in Birmingham, told his bosses he would not be back as he had a football tournament to go to.

The travel agent told the Press Association: "There was too many people booked off in work so I had to hand in my notice.

"They weren't too happy about that so they gave me the holidays."

The football fanatic said he was in Poland for Euro 2012 so could not miss the fun in France.

"I've got the train booked back on Thursday afternoon but if we get through there could be an empty desk in my office on Friday," he said.

Mr Maharaj said he plans on moving back to Ireland anyway, adding: "No time like the present."

Meanwhile, his friend Dave Butler, who is 36 and is from Kilkenny but lives in Drogheda, is celebrating his redundancy.

"I'd been working at a financial services company for 10 and a half years. I was made redundant. The company is closing down at the end of July.

"They were giving people phased redundancy so it fitted well with coming over here.

"It was handy having an extra few quid in the pocket for coming over. We heard the beer was dear," he said.

The Republic takes on Italy in a must-win match in Lille on Wednesday night.

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