Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Count on Spike to join 500 club

Linfield striker Glenn Ferguson still has his sights on hitting the 500 goal mark, despite what Northern Ireland's 1982 World Cup hero Gerry Armstrong thinks.

On three occasions while summarising during the Cliftonville v Linfield Carnegie Irish Premier League opener on Sky Sports on Monday night Armstrong stated that Ferguson had scored more than 500 goals in his career.

The Windsor Park hitman, however, has moved to correct the former international after opening the scoring in the 2-2 draw at Solitude to take his tally for the season to five.

Ask Ferguson how many goals he has scored he responds instantly: "That's four hundred and eighty-eight now.

"I know Gerry Armstrong said on Sky that I had over 500 and it is nice that he thinks I am good enough to have scored over 500, but I am not quite there yet.

"My father has kept a record of my goals since I started playing and I know that I am getting close."

There is something of a tenuous link between the two well known goalscorers.

Armstrong was brought back to the Irish League by Glenavon in the closing weeks of the 1990-91 season when they were challenging the eventual champions Portadown for the title.

By the time the new season kicked-off Terry Nicholson had snapped up Ferguson from Ards and for a number of years he formed a fruitful front-line with fellow former internationals Stephen McBride and Raymond McCoy.

Ferguson hit a combined total of 250 goals during his time with Ards and Glenavon before his £55,000 move to Windsor Park.

"It would be a great achievement for me if I could hit 500 goals," he said.

" It has only been done twice before in the Irish League, by Joe Bambrick and Jimmy Jones, and it would be a real honour to be up there in the same bracket as those strikers."

However, there is a question mark over exactly how many goals he has to go before reaching the landmark.

"A few years back there used to be a Charity Shield competition in the Irish League," said Ferguson. "One year a match against Glentoran in the pre-season Carlsberg Challenge tournament doubled up as the Charity Shield match. Linfield's stats recognise the goal, but I am told it was officially considered a friendly and therefore doesn't count."

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