This article was originally written for Balls.ie by Mikey Traynor in 2017 when this footage originally surfaced on Youtube, and now has been updated as the footage has again surfaced online after being removed.
2001 was an exciting time for Irish football.
Mick McCarthy lead our boys in green past Iran in a playoff to reach the 2002 World Cup, which meant that the national side were riding on a wave of optimism, but the League of Ireland also got a boost from the performance of Shelbourne in the UEFA Cup, where they were so unlucky to lose to Harchester United on penalties with a side that featured a young and ambitious Wes Hoolahan.
Shels v Harchester United
Dream Team was a wild football-drama on Sky One, and as it developed a cult following for its insane storylines and surprisingly memorable characters, it is something that men of a certain age reminisce about on a regular basis.
It was taken off the air, and with no DVD box set and the lack of every good show surfacing online at the time, it ceased to exist. While there are many episodes available on YouTube, the complete set isn't there and some of the very best episodes are missing.
Back in 2017, Irish TV archivist KillianM2 uploaded footage of the Harchester United vs Shelbourne match in the 2001 UEFA Cup. However, the footage was lost to the world when Killian's youtube account was forced shut.
Thankfully the lads at Irish Football Blog have uploaded some footage of the match to their Twitter account. Be prepared for a blast of nostalgia as the late Danny Rawsthorne brings his Dragons to Tolka Park.
Does anyone remember when the great Harchester United travelled to Dublin to face Shelbourne in Tolka Park during The 2001 UEFA Cup?
Much of the footage from this episode was real as the genuinely did travel over to Ireland to film it!
Here’s some football nostalgia!😉 pic.twitter.com/vu2coFwWTu
— Irish Football Blog (@BlogIrish) April 9, 2023
Amazing. Simply amazing.
Much of the footage was, of course, real, unlike most of their matches, as the players were brought over to Ireland to play a friendly match with the Keith Duffy all-stars (read more about that famous match here) where they presumably filmed the pitch invasion etc.
But looking back, it's bloody hilarious. Dream Team was the stuff of legend, and Harchester United will always be everybody's second favourite Premier League team.
The Dragons would, of course, go on to make the UEFA Cup final that year, only to lose most of the playing staff to a fatal bus crash. They will not be forgotten, thanks to this clip.