Ticketless Irish fan tells how he blagged his way onto Estonia's bench
Published 11:03 17/11/11 By Rory Tevlin
An ingenious Irish supporter has told how he blagged his way into the crucial play-off win against Estonia without a ticket - and ended up sitting next to their manager on the bench!
Conor Cunningham from Cork managed to get into Tallin's A Le Coq Arena for the away leg after he put on an Estonian tracksuit and passed through security.
The bold-as-brass fan ended up sitting in the home team’s dugout and was the envy of his mates after he was spotted by TV cameras.
Conor even got out on to the pitch with the Irish players to celebrate after the stunning 4-0 victory.
He said: “It was brilliant, could not have asked for a better game. There was about 3,500 fans over there.
“We took a bit of a crazy route, there was myself and 10 other lads.
“We went from London to Stockholm to Riga to Tallinn. It took 24 hours at least, it was worth it. They were looking for crazy prices and as it was getting closer to the game we were getting anxious about missing it.
“We said we would chance our arm, we tried the media entrance.
“I just spotted an open door and I thought I will stick my head through there but it was just a closed-in room but I found an Estonian tracksuit and I just threw it on.
“I was seen on RTE footage during the game.
“I threw the bag of balls over my shoulder and just went for it.
“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.
“Even after the match I just strolled out on to the pitch.”
Conor was not able to get to Dublin for the return leg but the superfan has vowed to do his best to get over to Poland and the Ukraine for the finals.
Here's some (understandably blurry) footage of Cunningham videoing himself on the Estonia bench
Here's Cunningham celebrating with the Irish players on the pitch after the game...
Here he explains the scam on Irish radio...