We're worn by the nostalgia. For the last three months, we've done nothing but look back on the glory days. During the week, this writer spent a LONG 90 minutes watching the entirety of Ireland and England's game in the wind and rain of Cagliari 30 years after Italia '90.
We thought we were nostalgia-ed out. And yet something hit home about RTE's Euro 88 special last night. For three hours, there was a studio show hosted by Darragh Maloney looking back on Ireland's first ever qualification for a major tournament, followed by highlights of the famous victory over England in Stuttgart. Finally, they broadcast UEFA's official film of the tournament.
The opening show had a mixture of brilliant archive footage, a contemporary interview with Ronnie Whelan and Ray Houghton, a report on Packie Bonner, some memories from George Hamilton, and a discussion with on the impact of Ireland's qualification on the growth of Ireland's economy and modernisation, and on the next generation watching at home.
We were even treated to an appearance by Aprés Match.
You can watch the whole thing on the RTE Player now if you missed it last night.
For those old enough, it was a night that got a lot of memories flowing, with many reliving where they were, particularly when Ray Houghton put the ball in the English net.
Grown men in tears at the end. All the kids having a kick about. Got home that night and realised the aulfellah had a massive bump on his head. Whacked the roof when Houghton scored but didn’t care
— Dodge 😷 (@seidodge) June 13, 2020
#Euro88 I was the young RTÉ reporter @FAIreland team hotel: & below is a photo of the @RTEsport van, taken by my colleague, Sean Farrell. That’s right it’s the tiny one! #Underdogs 😃Best days ever!!🇮🇪🇮🇪💚💚 pic.twitter.com/snyiHEhJQN
— Des Cahill (@sportsdes) June 13, 2020
1. About to annoy the bejesus out of my kids by giving a running commentary on tonight's @RTEsport #Euro88 documentaries.
'Dad, this was AGES ago, who cares?'
'Tough. You will care. This is more NB than any David Attenborough documentary'
'Dad, it isn't'
'IT IS'#COYBIG pic.twitter.com/lxbr1F9Tdz
— Ger McCarthy (@germccarthy74) June 13, 2020
Watching #Euro88 Relived on @RTE2 By god did we ever get behind that wonderful team. Seeing that footage of the return bus from the airport. What that team did was lift an entire country. It really hasn't been seen since.
— Jonathan Brazil 🏃♂️ ===wear a 😷=== (@runcertain) June 13, 2020
Why did they did they have the Economist on the Euro88 night to talk about how grim the 80s were?
My son thinks I grew up in Strumpet City after that.#euro88
— KillianM2 TV Archive 📺 (@KillianM2) June 13, 2020
#euro88 I was so proud to be there for the whole thing. WON A GAME WE COULD HAVE LOST. DREW A GAME WE COULD HAVE WON. AND LOST A GAME WE COULD HAVE DRAWN. Just saying.
— Dermot Malone (@malonedermot) June 13, 2020
When the final whistle went in Stuttgart, there went any chance of me doing well in the leaving Cert Irish exam the following day.#Euro88
— John O'Connor (@johnnyoconn) June 13, 2020
My neighbour was about 14 at the time of Ireland v England at #euro88. She was out her back garden with friends, nextdoor my dad and 2 uncles kept roaring and screaming. Her plus mates kept thinking Ireland had scored!
They were cheering Packie Bonner's Saves!
— Dave Hooper (@davehooperSSNS) June 13, 2020
A final small memory of Euro ‘88, following my little thread below earlier today.
Me, my Mum and my Dad we’re so nervous, when Ireland scored after 6 minutes in the first game v England, we all “lost the head” as we say 😂
Mum and Dad refused to watch after that, too nervous! https://t.co/ki3PkPANZX
— Daniel Keohane (@KeohaneDan) June 13, 2020
Euro 88 Hannover v USSR. Our family & my Dads best friends family. All bonded for life after THAT tournament! I’m bottom right, my Mam (expecting my sister?) & Dad behind me & my 3 brothers in the pic. I’d guess my 4 yr old brother(milling a Capri sun?) was youngest fan there?! pic.twitter.com/aOBJKMyS8R
— Edward O'Byrne (@eobyrne) June 13, 2020
Next week, it's Italia 90 night. Maybe we can keep the nostalgia going a little longer.