Half time at the Aviva stadium on a chilly evening on September the 7th 2015, Ireland are 0-0 versus Georgia in a crucial European Championship qualifier. News breaks that 35 year old Robbie Keane has been substituted at half time. Opinions in an almost empty section of the stand located at the Herbert Road entrance of the ground can be heard loud and clear.
"He is past it, he can't move" one man says as he turns to the man seated beside him. A young lad who looks no more than sixteen or seventeen years old is sat beside what must either be his brothers or his friends, he cheers with delight at the news, "Yeahowwwww, Robbie Keane is rubbish how does he play for Ireland, it's about bloody time" the lad yells.
How quickly people forget and how little of the magic younger generations will have seen this legend entertain a nation with over the course of his seventeen years representing "The Boys in Green". Our first real chance to witness Keane for the senior team came way back on the 22nd of April 1998 versus the mighty Argentina. That game did not mark Keane's full debut however, he featured versus the Czech Republic in Olonouc a month previous.
The game vs Argentina was Keane's home debut. People often refer to Robbie Keane's debut as epic, historical and a night to remember. We wondered why nobody has document this? surely a legendary home debut deserves it's place on the internet.
That night versus Argentina a star was born. A moment that really confirmed the beginning of a long and memorable relationship between Keane and the Irish supporters comes three minutes from the end of that game. Seventeen year old Keane chases down Argentina legend Juan Veron and can be witnessed almost falling flat on his face from exhaustion, the crowd cry out his name "Keano, Keano, Keano". That heart, commitment and enthusiasm has never wavered, a man who has given his all for his nation throughout his career, a man we should cherish the opportunity to witness, a man we should respect for all he has done. We decided to document that night ourself's, a night we and all who remember will never forget, a night a legend announced himself on the scene.