The Lansdowne Road Riot: The Last Time England Played Republic Of Ireland, 1995 (Photos)

Chris Wright

28th, May 2013


By Chris Wright

Soccer - Friendly - Ireland v England

England’s post-season friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley tomorrow evening is a fixture that resonates deep in the pits of many people’s stomachs due to the disgusting scenes that descended upon Lansdowne Road in Dublin the last time the two sides met – for a much-anticipated “friendly” –  back on 15th February, 1995.

Before the ball was even placed on the centre spot for kick-off the two national anthems were booed by either set of fans, with England’s hooligan contingent chanting “Sieg heil”, “No surrender to the IRA” and other such meathead classics as Irish national anthem “Amhran na bhFiann” was played over the loudspeakers.

The problems stemmed from a fairly high quota of the 4,500 traveling England fans in attendance being made up of despicable individuals with links to “Combat 18”, a neo-Nazi, white-supremacist and anti-Irish organisation who had little interest in the football and were hell-bent on offending and injuring as many Irish people as they could that night.

The Republic of Ireland (managed by Jack Charlton, who was heckled as a “Judas” all night) actually went 1-0 up at one point through English-born David Kelly but the game didn’t make it to half-time before being abandoned  – after 27 minutes as it happens – as English thugs in the upper tier of the West Stand began uprooting chairs and fencing and hurling the debris down onto the Irish fans in the lower tier.

Eventually the Irish supporters (of whom not all were totally innocent, it must be said) were evacuated from the stadium before the riot gear-clad Gardai entered to round up the English hoodlums, give them a good clubbing and escort them back across the Irish Sea having [sarcasm]done their nation proud once again[/sarcasm].


Here’s an Irish news report with footage of the rioting…

Shameful. Truly shameful.

If you wish to read on, The Score have a fantastic oral history of the Lansdowne Road riots, as recounted by the players, managers, journalists, photographers and pundits present on that infamous night.

Take it from us, it’s well worth a shufty.

(Photos: PA)

Posted in Featured, International football, Photos, Retro, Videos

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  1. Ian says:

    I was at that game as a 15 year old. We always got tickets for the schoolboy section in the north terrace which was right beside where the rioting took place but as luck would have it myself and two friends ended up in the south terrace at the other end of the stadium that day.

    Unbelievable scenes. I remember the exact moment it all started. Ireland were 1-0 up and England scored (i think it was David Platt that scored), the English fans went nuts celebrating the goal but the linesmans flag went up for offside and then the Irish fans went nuts because the goal was ruled out.

    No more than 10 seconds later i saw a big plank of wood (it was a section of the wooden seating that was used in stadiums at the time) floating down from the English fans above onto the Irish fans below and then all hell broke loose. Why the FAI put the English fans above the Irish fans i’ll never know.

    That was one of the darker days in my football match attending life.

    Hopefully all will pass peacefully tomorrow night.

  2. Rory says:

    The only chance of carnage tomorrow night will be on the pitch. McShane lumping the ball up to Sammon of College (he played for UCD), repeat ad nauseum. Hope Trap experiments a bit, yer man Hendrick at Derby’s worth a run out, but it’ll be the same old dross, comfortable 2-0 England. I can see a serious hammering on the cards then in June against Spain in New York. Trap out.

  3. Foran44 says:

    Sammon of College: Haha I really hope there’s a song for that!

  4. MessiBalls says:

    The Gardaí absolutely destroyed those English boys that night. A hammering is what they needed and a hammering is what they got!

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