Ireland Jersey Collector‘When I was 5 or 6 I imagined I was Liam Brady and it kind of stemmed a love for the game that carried on.’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Eddie O’Mahony got his first Ireland jersey 31 years ago at the age of 8. And he hasn’t stopped collecting them since. 157 jerseys later, he found himself searching for a way to put them on display. He joined guest-host Dave Fanning on The Ryan Tubridy Show to tell him about the solution he has settled upon, a “virtual museum”,

Eddie took a quick inventory of some of the highlights in the collection, including Paul McGrath’s Italia 90′ jersey and Roy Keane’s 2002 jersey. At this point Dave had to interject: “Did Roy Keane even put on a jersey in 2002?”. There’s also Richard Dunne’s blood-stained jersey from the Euro 2012 qualifier against Russia.

Dave asked how this collection came about. Did this first jersey trigger a desire to collect more?

“I think when I was growing up as a child, replica jerseys weren’t as popular as they are nowadays and I had a picture on my wall of Liam Brady in his O’Neill’s Ireland shirt and I thought he was just the most classy thing I had ever seen in my life. So, when I was about 5 or 6 my Mam brought me down to the local sports shop and I couldn’t believe that I could actually get the same jersey that he was wearing.

Eddie has set up a “virtual museum”,, displaying the collection of jerseys from over the years. He’s also written a book, “40 Shades of Green: The History of the Republic of Ireland Soccer Shirt 1986-2018”. It details the background associated with the shirts, “charting the history of the Irish soccer team from 1986 to 2018”.

It’s obvious a lot of work has gone into this collection. Does Eddie hope to continue this in the future?

“The real goal would be to hopefully find somewhere in Ireland where we can house the fantastic history of the Irish football team since 1921.”

Listen back to the full interview with Eddie O’Mahony on The Ryan Tubridy Show here.

© The Listener 2017

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