Belfast Telegraph

Healy’s joy at topping Windsor history poll

By Steven Beacom

David Healy has spoken of his pride and joy after his famous winning goal against England was voted the most memorable moment in Northern Ireland's history at Windsor Park.

 

All week the Belfast Telegraph has been counting down the top 50 moments involving Northern Ireland at the ground and yesterday it was revealed that Healy's stunning strike exactly eight years ago today had come out on top.

Last night's World Cup qualifier against Portugal may be the last international played at Windsor in its current form, with major reconstruction work to the tune of £25m planned at the stadium to modernise the ground.

The top 50 was debated and decided upon by an expert panel who between them have watched hundreds of games at Windsor Park.

On the panel were Irish FA President Jim Shaw, Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor Steven Beacom, Belfast Telegraph Executive Editor John Laverty, legendary BBC commentator Jackie Fullerton, spokesman for the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs Gary McAllister and Northern Ireland fan and researcher James Tait.

They chose Healy's iconic winner in 2005 as the number one memorable moment beating Northern Ireland's qualification for the 1958 and 1982 World Cup finals which came in at second and fourth respectively with George Best's masterclass performance against Scotland in 1967 finishing third.

Healy also came fifth thanks to his stunning hat-trick in Northern Ireland's 3-2 victory over Spain in 2006.

Healy said: “To have two matches in which I scored in the top five of a list like this is incredible. I'm extremely flattered and want to thank the panel. For the goal against England to be voted as number one means a great deal to me and my family.

“It gives me a great sense of pride. I was brought up with tales about George Best's performance against Scotland and Northern Ireland qualifying for the 1982 World Cup, so to finish ahead of that and our wee country reaching the World Cup in 1958 is amazing.”

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