‘Stranded’ NI fan thanks Carrick men who came to his aid at Euro 2016

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry

Northern Ireland fans during Tuesday evenings final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes, Paris.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland fans during Tuesday evenings final Euro 2016 group game against Germany at the Parc des Princes, Paris.

A Northern Ireland football fan has expressed his gratitude to two Carrickfergus men who stepped in to help when he was stranded in Paris.

Michael Colwell was in France for two weeks to support the team’s Euro 2016 campaign.

Originally from Carrick himself, Michael has lived in Manchester since 1983.

Speaking to the Times this week, he said: “I’d travelled to Paris for the Germany game last Tuesday. My friend who was with me was going on home; I wanted to drive up and visit the Somme on my way home so I was on my own.”

Having met up with fellow football fans earlier that evening, Michael decided to share a taxi back to the area in which his hotel was located.

“I had the name of my hotel on my phone and I thought it was quite close to where these guys were staying,” he added.

“When we got to that area I said bye to them and got out of the taxi, but when I went to look at my phone for the address of my hotel, I discovered the battery was dead.

“Without my phone I had no idea how to get to where I was staying or how far away it was. I just started walking through the streets; it was probably about 2am by that stage.”

By a stroke of luck, Michael came across two more Northern Ireland supporters in the streets of the city.

“I went up and asked them if they could help; they took me back to where they were staying and got my phone charged up so that I was able to get the address,” he said. “It turned out my hotel was about 10km away!”

By coincidence, Michael discovered the fans were also from Carrick. “It turned out they knew my family - it’s a very small world,” he added.

“The two guys ordered me a taxi, paid for it and gave the driver the address of my hotel.

“It was really good of them to do that, especially as they were flying out home again at 6am the next morning.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get their names, but I just want to thank them for taking the time to help me out - who knows where I would have been without them.”