Shane Long's wonderful gesture to young fan after Euro 2016 defeat has only just been revealed 2 years ago

Shane Long's wonderful gesture to young fan after Euro 2016 defeat has only just been revealed

In case you were unaware, the Irish fans made quite an impression at Euro 2016.

This was acknowledged when the mayor of Paris awarded the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland fans the Medal of the City of Paris.

It was not, however, just their hosts who were won over by the travelling support, the players were also taken aback by the fans in France.

On Thursday night Irish TV stationRTÉ aired the 'Two Shades of Green' documentary, which followed the campaigns of both Irish teams in France.

Following the North's defeat to Wales in the last-16, the hopes of the island rested on Martin O'Neill's side in Lyon, where they faced France in a hostile Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Despite leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Robbie Brady penalty, the Boys in Green bowed out after a second half brace from player of the tournament Antoine Griezmann.

Anyone in the stadium on that afternoon will forever remember the scenes after the final whistle as the defeated Irish players made their way over to the tiny corner of the vast stadium populated by Ireland's meagre 4,500-strong support.


Captain Seamus Coleman described that powerful 20 minutes.

"To think how amazing that moment was. We just stood there, I don't think even a lot of us clapped. We just stood there. Their support was something else and even though we lost the game there was something in that moment that we won't forget," said the Everton full-back.

Also in the documentary, Robbie Brady admitted he is almost looking forward to his retirement, when he will be able to experience a major tournament as a fan.

The players did seem to really connect with the supporters in France. If proof is needed, consider Shane Long's fantastic gesture. The Southampton striker was devastated, the penalty he earned in the opening minute eventually not proving to be enough to beat a star-studded France, but he found the wherewithal to make one little girl's day.

"Shane Long is there looking at us and next thing he takes off his boots and hands my daughter his boots," recalled fan George Downer.

"Even now talking about it gives me shivers. He gives her a big hug and I look down at her and she is roaring crying. Of course I started crying."

2016 UEFA European Championship Round Of 16, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France 26/6/2016 Republic of Ireland vs France Ireland’s Shane Long dejected with Morgan Schneiderlin of France Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Above you see Long wearing boots at the final whistle. While below you see him minus his orange and yellow Nike footwear.

2016 UEFA European Championship Round Of 16, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France 26/6/2016 Republic of Ireland vs France Ireland’s Shane Long dejected after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Bootless, he is still sat on the pitch, observing the crowd, which includes one tearful little girl and her tearful Dad.

Emotional end to an emotional fortnight.