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Showing posts with label Irishman in Bobruisk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Irishman in Bobruisk. Show all posts

Northern Irishman in Bobruisk

By Jonny Blair

I first watched ladies football in May 2007 in Gillingham in Kent. England beat Northern Ireland 5-0 and author Shaun Schofield also attended. We agreed that day that we should head to another away match so we waited a few months and made plans to head to Belarus. Northern Ireland would have a World Cup qualifier there, in a city called Bobruisk. Shaun couldn't make it in the end so I went alone, almost becoming part of the team posse and I was the only away fan at the match!

The team trained at the stadium of Belshina Bobruisk in this obscure Belarussian city. Manager of Northern Ireland ladies is Alfie Wylie and he gave a speech to inspire the girls before the match. Team captain presented me with a signed shirt from the entire Northern Ireland ladies team - a prized possession and a memory to linger forever. I sat down in the stadium as the only travelling football fan at the match. It was inspiring.

The night before I had met Owen (an Irish-Australian) and Albert (an Australian) and they kindly joined me in the stand with their new recruit, a local lady (a blonde Belarussian with large breasts). Owen wore my Northern Ireland scarf for the day, but none of them could have predicted my loudness or enthusiasm for the team. I outsang almost 1000 Belarussian fans (who only started singing because I was so loud and they felt they needed to prove they could as well). I sang for almost 90 minutes non-stop and yet our team still lost 5-0 against a highly ranked Belarus side. After the match I was made to have a police escort as a few local hooligans were not taking too kindly to my passion for my country!!

I got the team bus with the Northern Ireland ladies back to Minsk the capital city. Before leaving Bobruisk however I got mobbed by loads of kids wanting gifts from me - they assumed I was rich rather than a backpacker!! This wasn't a commercial world. Once back in Minsk I relaxed with a local Belarus beer and even found solace in an Irish pub on a corner which was called Drozhzhy United! All in all a great day out.

So after all that my journey to Belarus came to an end - what an experience and I was heading to Warsaw in Poland next!


Belarus 5-0 Northern Ireland

(5 different goalscorers)

Beers Tried - Grinitska, Dnyaprouskaye.

Bars I drank in - Minsk Airport Bar and Drozhzy United Irish Pub.

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