Pat Bonner: One Night in Genoa

Pat Bonner was made in Donegal: his values, resilience and work ethic were instilled in him by his family and his community, while playing Gaelic football toughened him up for a glittering soccer career.

He was Celtic’s stalwart No1 for years, winning nine major honours at the club, and he earned 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland. His penalty save in a shootout in Genoa against Romania - exactly 30 years ago this week - earned his national side a place in the quarter-finals of Italia ’90. Just weeks before, Pat had failed to save a single kick in the shootout against my beloved Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final. But he analysed and strategised and gave his country one of their biggest parties ever. Everyone in the world was a little bit Irish that night.




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