Russians from Moscow to St Petersburg flooded city streets last night in celebration when it became clear that the Republic of Ireland soccer team had been knocked out of next year’s World Cup.
A classy Denmark team humiliated the Irish in the second leg of a qualifying game in Dublin by five goals to one, including a hat-trick scored by Spurs attacker Christian Eriksen.
“We just can’ believe it’, said Yuri Chekninski, a bus driver in Moscow. “We were dreading them getting through. Imagine what it would have been like, three weeks, maybe more, of having to listen to ‘The Fields of Athenry’ every day and night! Now we are so happy!”
Chekninski said he and his friends were so upset at the prospect of thousands of Irish fans bellowing the song endlessly that they were planning to rent a holiday villa on the Black Sea during the tournament.
“Even that might not have been far away enough. One friend was even thinking of volunteering to fight in Ukraine. Anything but ‘The Fields of Athenry’.”
Some might find it deeply ironic that the Russians have such antipathy towards this particular old Irish ballad and the Fields. As everyone knows, the “Fields” in question refers to the Field family from Athenry, whose most famous member was leading musician and composer John Field, who also happened to live in Russia from 1802 to 1829 while inventing the nocturne single-handed.
The family also sponsors the Fields Medal; first established in 1936, it is often described as the Nobel Prize of people who do sums, and has been awarded to no fewer than six graduates of the Moscow State University. So hats off to the Fields!
It was a joke Mel. There were no crowds on Russian streets. I was just taking the piss out of Irish soccer fans…..
Shame on you Ed for taking the piss out of the Irish fans. Have they not suffered enough.