Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

All Our Yesterdays: World Cup Spain 1982

Billy Huddleston and his wife Bertha, of Groomsport, in a happy mood at the Northern Ireland match in Valencia. Billy won two free World Cup tickets taking in all Northern Ireland matches, in a draw organised by Portadown Masonic Recreation Club, in which there were 60,000 subscribers. 26/06/1982
Billy Huddleston and his wife Bertha, of Groomsport, in a happy mood at the Northern Ireland match in Valencia. Billy won two free World Cup tickets taking in all Northern Ireland matches, in a draw organised by Portadown Masonic Recreation Club, in which there were 60,000 subscribers. 26/06/1982
Sheltering under his sombrero is Paul Duffin along with Norman Redshaw and Gordon Ballantyne from Larne. 26/06/1982
Celebrating her 10th birthday in Spain is Celine Hampton, of Cotswold Avenue, Newtownbreda, with her father Rolly, mother Dorothy, sister Louise (7) and her friend, Gillian Duddleston (11). Mr. Hampton won their holiday in a World Cup draw organised by Ballynahinch Recreation Club.
Two former Belfast men now working in New York, Nelson Gaw, from Sydenham, a barman in the Big Apple, and Kevin Massey, from the Shankill Road, a professional singer in the clubs around New York, living it up in Spain. 26/06/1982
Writing postcards are Richard Creighton, Sean Donnelly and Raymond Ferguson, all from Cookstown. 26/06/1982
A group of Northern Ireland supporters with the children of a Spanish family in Alcoceber who have adopted the Ulstermen and are now Irish supporters. The children are: Maria Angeles, Maria Victoria, Joaquin and Magdalena Bellver Fernandez. The fans are: Melvyn Purvis, Jim Kerr, Alan Baird, Billy Workman, Ian Downes, Brian Rea, Sam McGorman, Sam Torrens, Robin Alexander, Robert Watters, Gary Helm, Cecil Freeman and Bill Chaps. 29/06/1982
Sporting their sombreros at Zaragoza are Ken Webb, Rathcoole; Howard Allen, Lurgan; Peter Moore, Birmingham; Paul Colgan, Rathfern; and George Swift, Lurgan. 26/06/1982
A colourful group of supporters from Monkstown with their banners at Zaragoza. 26/06/1982
Players and officials of the Northern Ireland World Cup squad leave Aldergrove to join up with the rest of their colleagues for intensive training at Brighton, before flying on to the finals in Spain. (From left): Johnny Jameson, Jim Cleary, John O'Neill, David Bowens, assistant secretary I.F.A, George Dunlop, Derek Wade, I.F.A international committee member, Derek McKinley, assistant physiotherapist, and Mal Donaghy. 01/06/1982
Actor Justin Duff with Billy Bingham and members of his World Cup squad, Jim Platt, Martin O'Neill, Mal Donaghy and Sammy Nelson. 18/05/1982
Members of Northern Ireland's 1982 football team with Dana, recording the World Cup song "Yer Man". 22/02/1982

After a rollercoaster World Cup Qualifer, a revival of Northern Ireland's international fortunes and Nigel Worthington building on the phenomenal success of Lawrie Sanchez, I thought this week's archive choice should go back to Spain 1982.

On June 25, 1982, Northern Ireland stole headlines with a sensational 1-0 win over World Cup hosts Spain, in Valencia. This was the first tournament with 24 rather than 16 teams and there were concerns smaller nations would struggle. This was certainly not the case for Billy Bingham's NI squad.

Gerry Armstrong was the man of the match, scoring the only goal early in the second half. He was one of the top five goal scorers in Spain '82 going on to win the British Player of the Tournament award.

What made the victory even more remarkable was that Northern Ireland played the last 27 minutes with 10 men, after the sending off of Mal Donaghy. At 17, Norman Whiteside was the youngest player to appear in the World Cup finals. When the final whistle blew the stadium fell silent apart from a small green patch of ecstatic 'Norn Iron' supporters who would never tire of saying... "I was there!"



By Paul Carson

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