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Stephen Ireland Explains Infamous Superman Underpants Celebration

By PJ Browne
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'Ireland is Superman' was the chant from the Manchester City fans for Stephen Ireland's final three years at the club. A memorable celebration by the Corkman in November 2007 was the reason behind it.

After scoring the winner in a Premier League game against Sunderland, Ireland pulled down his shorts to unveil Superman underpants.

"It was more of an in-house joke," Ireland explains in a new Man City documentary titled after his chant.

"One day in pre-season, I wore these Superman boxers must by chance. The players picked up on it and said, 'If you score, you need to drop them'.

"I must have went 16 or 17 games, and every game I brought them as well, purely because they didn't think I'd have the backbone to do it. Every single game, the kitman put them with my kit.

"I think it was a really important goal at the time because we needed to win that game. I remember the players came to me, especially Martin Petrov, and he was like, 'Come on then'. Without even thinking, I just [pulled down my shorts].


"I got a letter off the FA saying, 'This is a warning. Don't do it again'. I don't regret it. I think it was brilliant. Obviously, it kicked on to having that name stick with me for such a long time."


Stephen Ireland goal for Man City vs Sunderland

[Watch Video]

Former Man City kitman Les Chapman adds: "I used to have to pack his Superman underpants with his kit wherever we went. By the end of the season, it were a bit tattered. But, he insisted on wearing it."

Current Man City player Esme Morgan was behind the goal when Ireland scored.


"I would have been right behind that goal," she says.

"I remember they were showing the replay on the big screen when they were celebrating, and my mum was like, 'Don't look! Don't look!'"

Ireland was just 21 at the time. Though he had already played his last international game two months earlier.


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