Traveling to an international game without a ticket is a risky business, as part-time fitness instructor Conor Cunningham found out on Friday when he turned up in Tallinn for Ireland's vital Euro 2012 play-off with Estonia. Faced with coughing up €600 for a seat in the 10,300-capacity A. Le Coq Arena, the Irishman did what any sensible fan who had traveled 1,900 miles on a whim would do: he tried to sneak in.
Spotting an open doorway, Cunningham made a run for it and came across bag of balls (a ball bag, if you will) and an Estonia team tracksuit. Much like Ryan Giggs when he hears his wife's key in the front door, he quickly put the tracksuit on and acted as if everything was completely normal.
Assuming the role of an Estonian official of some sort, Cunningham channeled all his testicular fortitude and made his way out to the pitch:
"I didn't know what to do, to be honest, so I thought I'd better go into the Estonian dug-out. No one said anything to me and then I realised I was sitting beside their manager (Tarmo Ruutli). It was about 10 or 15 minutes into the match when a UEFA official got suspicious of me. He came over and, after talking to me, told me I had to move."
Quite how the Estonia manager didn't notice a complete stranger in the place of one of his team is beyond comprehension, but Cunningham watched the rest of the game from an empty seat elsewhere when he was moved on. At the conclusion of the historic 4-0 victory, he managed to celebrate with the Ireland players on the pitch...
When an official clocked the unusual site of someone in an Estonia tracksuit holding a large bag of balls celebrating with the opposition, he was asked to surrender the balls and leave. Before leaving with tales of his epic blag, however, he videoed himself with Robbie Keane and co in the post-match interview area...
Don't be surprised if sales of Poland and Ukraine tracksuits suddenly spike in Ireland at the beginning of next summer.
H/T: 101GG; Image: Daily Mail