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Northern Ireland legend Jimmy Quinn to sell Mexico 1986 shirt he never got chance to wear

By Laura Abernethy

Published 16/10/2015

The Golden Boot
The Golden Boot
Jimmy Quinn in action for Northern Ireland

The man who helped take Northern Ireland to their last major footballing tournament nearly 30 years ago is selling a prized international shirt.

Local footballing legend Jimmy Quinn, who now works as a lorry driver, may have sold his Golden Boot award last week, but fans can still snap up his green and white shirt from the 1986 World Cup.

The 55-year-old explained: "My football stuff has been in my garage for about three years.

"There's one or two items that have been broken or damaged and I'd rather see them go to someone who has an interest in football.

"I've still got the memories and I thought it was important that this stuff goes to people who have a love for the game rather than just sitting in a box in the garage."

He added: "I've got four kids and I can't give one of my kids the Golden Boot or a World Cup shirt. I can't give one of them something like that that is a one-off, because I don't want to upset anyone."

The Belfast boy helped get Northern Ireland to their last major championship by scoring the winner in a qualification game against Romania in Bucharest odds in 1985.

However, he didn't go on to play in the World Cup due to injury and he never got to wear the shirt on the pitch.

Now he has decided to give a fan a chance to buy a piece of football history.

He said: "It was almost 30 years ago and it's getting old.

"I thought that shirt could go to someone who remembers the World Cup and appreciates it."

He added: "We've had a few offers on it, but I'm not going to give it away for nothing." The shirt is being sold by Alec Bohannan from Sporting Past Times. He said: "The shirt is a nice piece. It's in mint condition. He only ever tried it on. It would be nice if it could go to a Northern Irish supporter."

Quinn scored 12 goals in 46 games for his country, as well as 94 goals in 216 appearances for Reading.

He won the Golden Boot for the Royals in the 1993-94 season after scored 40 league goals.

It was sold to a collector last week, who has now donated it to Jimmy's former club so it can be put on display at their Madejski Stadium home.

He said: "It's like I gave the Crown Jewels to the guy who bought my Golden Boot. He said he can't believe he got it and he's going to meet one of his all-time heroes. You never think of yourself in those terms. It's nice to give something to someone like that."

Quinn would not disclose how much the boot went for, but it had an estimated value of £4,000-£5,000 and Mr Bohannan said that he "got a price he wanted".

The World Cup shirt is estimated to be worth between £800 and £1,000.

After a successful playing career the striker went on to manage several teams including Reading, Swindon Town and Shrewsbury Town.

In 2013 he left non-league Nantwich Town and became a lorry driver.

Mr Bohannan, who is a friend of the footballer, said: "Although he spent 20 years as a pro, he had to get a normal job after it because they didn't earn the money that they do these days."

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