A couple who found love thanks to the European football championships in 2012 are celebrating their anniversary at the same tournament four years on.

Richie O’Farrell, from Dun Laoghaire in Dublin, and Lucile Berset, from Fribourg in Switzerland, met in Berlin when the Irish fan stopped off in the German city on his way home from Euro 2012 in Poland.

Mr O’Farrell, 28, was smitten from the moment he laid eyes on Ms Berset and the pair are celebrating four years together in Lille where Ireland play Italy in Euro 2016 on Wednesday night.

Looking back on when their love story began he said: “Me and the lads went over and I booked to stay for at least the quarter final.

“We went to Berlin. I met her in the hostel and she was going to bed and I wasn’t too pleased so I offered her a drink to buy me some more time.

“Fortunately she was more than happy to have the drink and we got on great.”

Ms Berset, 22, had been to Ireland on holiday before, and Mr O’Farrell said: “She knew about Michael Collins and the Rising. As a result of the holiday she’d done a school project on Ireland, which I thought was insane — just that she’d had such an interest in it.”

After they met, the pair kept in touch on Facebook and Skype — but Ms Berset found her adoring Irishman a hard to understand at first. “I wasn’t really used to the Irish accent then,” she said.

She travelled over to Ireland less than a year later, which meant Mr O’Farrell “explaining to an Irish mother that a Swiss girl was coming to stay on the couch”.

The reunion was a success and Mr O’Farrell said: “We knew we could keep it going.”

A trip out to Switzerland a few months later sealed the deal, and he said: “We knew then it wasn’t a holiday thing so we made it official then that we were going to be together.”

The pair spent a year in Ireland when Ms Berset found work as an au pair, and they discovered they had a love of football in common.

“With a girl that’s into it, it’s something to cling on to,” Mr O’Farrell joked.

Luckily for the couple, who now live in Fribourg, their countries were both scheduled to play in Lille just a few days apart during Euro 2016.

Joking about their relationship, Ms Berset said: “There’s a lot of football involved.”

While June 21 is the exact date they met, Ms Berset is happy to wait for Ireland’s big — and potentially last — game of Euro 2016 to celebrate.

“We’ll postpone the day to today and hope for an Irish win,” she said. Mr O’Farrell added: “That would top the lot.”

More on this topic

Euro 2020 draw: Ireland get rub o’ the greenEuro 2020 draw: Ireland get rub o’ the green

Russian arrested over Euro 2016 attack on British football fanRussian arrested over Euro 2016 attack on British football fan

Charlie Bird investigates the plight of Irish fans who just can't let Euro 2016 goCharlie Bird investigates the plight of Irish fans who just can't let Euro 2016 go

UEFA to honour Ireland fans for 'outstanding contribution' to Euro 2016UEFA to honour Ireland fans for 'outstanding contribution' to Euro 2016


Lifestyle

'Myrtle, your hair is on fire,' an alarmed guest exclaimed as Myrtle’s fringe went up in flames while she was enthusiastically flambéing crêpes beside their table.Darina Allen: The best recipes to get you ready for Pancake Tuesday

Paul McLauchlan meets Nicholas HoultThe kid from About A Boy is now the face of Armani

Living in a world of sensory overload, it comes as no surprise that purity is a welcome breath of fresh air when it comes to our wardrobes.Men's fashion with Paul McLaughlan: The return to minimalism

Suzie Monaghan works with her inspiring father in the clothing business he founded 60 years ago, writes Rowena WalshBusiness merger: Daughter joins forces with her father, Ireland’s oldest retailer

More From The Irish Examiner