Belfast's Victory in Vienna: A Footballing Odyssey
Presenter Holly Hamilton and author Sam Robinson discover the feelgood story of the 1914 Glentoran football team who won the Vienna Cup.
In the months leading up to World War One, the east Belfast team were invited to play in a tournament against Europe’s leading football teams. The Glentoran team were all working men, with full time jobs in Belfast’s shipyards and engineering works. Most of them had never been outside of Ireland before they embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across Europe.
Against all the odds, the 11 men played the game of their careers and lifted the prestigious Vienna Cup, arguably the first European Cup. The trophy survived the journey back to Belfast, the Blitz, and over one hundred years later has pride of place in the Oval board room. Holly and Sam retrace the team’s incredible journey to victory and return to Belfast to meet with some of the team’s descendants.