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19 Photos From 1999 Which Show Just How Mental Ireland's U-20 World Cup In Nigeria Was

Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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Ireland's under-20 World Cup in Nigeria back in 1999 was perhaps best summed up by Richie Sadlier on Second Captains back in June 2014.


Describing how Irish players had become fed up with attempting to putt a golf ball into an empty Ribena bottle to keep themselves occupied, Sadlier recounted arguably the most harrowing tale in the history of Irish sport:

There was one afternoon where there was seven of us in a bedroom. I'm not going to name any names and there was a suggestion by someone, I don't know how to phrase this - 'why don't we have a competition where we pleasure ourselves and the fella who can complete the job first is the winner. So we all reacted the way you're reacting now.

We all laughed and said well this fella is nuts. We were trying to work it out and he's actually suggesting what we think he is.

Myself and another fella left, because it appeared this is actually going to happen. And it did, five lads competed with one another.

Jesus Christ almighty. Here are 19 photographs of one of the most mental tournaments in living memory:

1) Three years before Saipan, Brian Kerr seals a lucrative emergency kit deal for a luggage-less Ireland


2)  300 Nigerian fans - some now topless - wait patiently to catch a glimpse of their hero, Jason Gavin

3) Soul band Ken Okolulu and the Nigerian Brothers with an unidentified fan

4) I don't have a clue what's going on here, in all honesty, but just look at Damien Duff's face

5) Brian Kerr - engrossed in Tony Adams' autobiography - is having none of Noel O'Reilly's claims that he's seen a few UFOs sailing around the Tahir Guest Palace in Kano. In the background, former FAI boss Bernard O'Byrne enjoys a dip. 

6) Damien Duff impresses Lucozade Sport scouts with a passionate slug of water. Just four years later, that annoying bald guy was screaming at Duff about going 33% longer. Fact.

7) Stephen McPhail laughs off suggestions that if he and Brian Kerr were to remake The Blues Brothers, Kerr would play Elwood

8) Kerr secretly decides to drop him for the next game

9) Kerr looks for some skin after a sumptuous nutmeg of Robbie Keane in training

10) Robbie Keane, Jason Gavin, Richie Baker and Ger Crossley recreate their favourite East 17 album cover

11) Brian Kerr invents 'The Sprinkler'

12) Ger Crossley and Robbie Keane battle it out on FIFA 99

13) Crossley emerges victorious

14) An army of resourceful Ivorian fans arrive to support their flag cousins

15) Brian Kerr is forcibly removed from a safari trip after grabbing the mic and roaring "he's after getting it right bang in the snot" to the horror of onlookers, as a pride of lions suffocated a small, feeble wildebeest

16) Robbie Keane's first attempt at his trademark cartwheel celebration goes horribly wrong as he realises he's down at the shallow end mid-air

17) Gary Doherty eyes Liam George's body lotion and claims he has a better way for the lads to entertain themselves than putting a golf ball into an empty Ribena bottle

18) "It doesn't matter if you think Richie Sadlier is a snitch. For the last time, we're never speaking about it again! Now let's do what we should have done the first time, and play cards like it's a rainy day on an Irish camping holiday."

19) Umbro's Nigeria representative discovers that the FAI's cheque has bounced


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