21 Irish football stars' Premier League careers illustrated in Merlin stickers
Premier League stickers, the only reality where swapping Bosko Balaban for Thierry Henry was considered a fair trade.
We’ve all squandered our entire life savings of pocket money (which usually amounted to a couple of weeks worth) on packets of those priceless little rectangles of
paper gold in our youth.
Nothing filled our young hearts with more joy than happening upon a sticker we needed to fill another space in our precious book. It was another small step towards completing the Sisyphean task of filling every empty square in the album.
Although, more often than not we came up short, in the words of Arthur Ashe, "the doing is often more important than the outcome".
To give you the opportunity to relive the glory days of your childhood, we've collated the Merlin stickers of 21 Irish internationals, past and present. There might be a few missing, but that's just to give you the authentic Premier League sticker book experience.
The most unsettling grin in football history.
Varying degrees of seriousness.
In the 90s, McAteer was this close to becoming the sixth member of Boyzone. He still holds a grudge against Mikey Graham to this very day.
The only thing that changed down the years was that the jerseys got progressively tighter.
If the pose ain't broke, don't fix it.
He almost achieved a serious demeanour in 2004... almost.
A haircut you could set your watch to.
Believe it or not, Gary Doherty was always roughly 35-years-old.
When John O'Shea likes a hairstyle, he really commits to it.
Forced to leave Villa after the local wildlife began nesting in his mane.
Definitive proof that Kenny Cunningham once had a full head of hair.
Definitive proof that Lee Carsley did not.
Hi fledgling career as a Head & Shoulders model was sadly cut short in 2002.
Found being back in a Liverpool jersey an incredibly confusing ordeal altogether.
Could never settle on one jersey.
If you have all of the Lifford man's stickers, you were probably too old to be buying stickers.
The gift of the Babb.
It's worth pointing out there's a decade between these two photos being taken.
It took him a solid six seasons to work out the punchline of that joke you told him. He remembered it again at Sunderland.
Mark Kennedy had fun once, and it was awful.
Just happy to be here.
A very special thanks to the wonderful people at Topps Football for supplying the fantastic images.