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Legendary Northern Ireland star Gerry Armstrong thrilled after Hall of Fame induction

By Graham Luney

Published 05/05/2015

Local icons: Pat Jennings was present to witness former Northern Ireland team-mate Gerry Armstrong’s honour
Local icons: Pat Jennings was present to witness former Northern Ireland team-mate Gerry Armstrong’s honour

The football family were talking about two Northern Ireland strikers at the glittering awards bash in Belfast's Ramada Hotel last night.

One can reflect on a glorious past while another hopes to fire the Green and White Army back to a major tournament for the first time since the World Cup finals in 1986.

Kyle Lafferty was named International Personality of the Year and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill collected the award on behalf of the goal-getter from Kesh who has the country on track for the Euro 2016 finals in France.

The Norwich City frontman, currently on loan at Turkish side Caykur Rizespor, claimed the award ahead of Steven Davis and Conor McLaughlin.

And the big man only has to listen to the tales of Pat Jennings, Gerry Armstrong, Billy Hamilton and Jimmy Nicholl to understand how special a feeling it is to represent your country on the biggest stage.

Armstrong was inducted into the Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame, with his former team-mates Jennings, Nicholl and Hamilton leading the tributes.

"This is a very special honour," said Armstrong, who lives in Mallorca.

"I was lucky to play in two World Cup finals in 1982 and 1986. Hopefully, Northern Ireland can get back to a major tournament under Michael (O'Neill)."

Armstrong is a familiar face on our television screens as a commentator and analyst but he will forever be remembered as the man who scored Northern Ireland's most famous goal.

It was, of course, in Espana 1982 when Billy Bingham's boys took on hosts Spain with Armstrong firing the ball into the back of the net to give Northern Ireland a sensational 1-0 victory.

He netted two other goals in those finals and 12 in total for his country during 63 international appearances, but the strike against the Spanish has iconic status.

The 60-year-old from Fintona also acted as assistant manager for Northern Ireland on two occasions and enjoyed a fine club career.

Armstrong and former Linfield boss David Jeffrey also paid emotional tributes to Gordon Hanna, the widely respected football journalist who sadly passed away last September.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast.
Judith Tully, Gerry and Debby Armstrong
Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Judith Tully, Gerry and Debby Armstrong Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Paul Ferguson, Judith Tully, Cialan Tully and Shaun Tully Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Gerry and Debby Armstrong Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Michael O'Neill and David Jeffrey Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Pat Jennings presents the BT Sport Team of the Season Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Pat Jennings presents the BT Sport Team of the Season Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Conor McLaughlin from Sunday Life presents the Top Goalscorer award to Joe Gormley Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Eddie Patterson. Stephen Baxter and Tim McCann Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Paul Heatley (Footballer of Year), Stephen Baxter (Manager of the Year) and Gavin Whyte (Young Player of Year) pictured before the Awards. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Glenn Ferguson presents BT Sport Goal of the Season to David Cushley Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Timothy Dubois presents the BT Sport Non-Senior Team of the Season to Carrick Rangers captain Aaron Harmon Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Keith Bailie presents BT Sport Championship Player of Year to Jordan Forsythe from Bangor Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Paul Ferguson presents the BT Sport International Personality of Year award to Michael O'Neill who collected it on behalf of behalf of Kyle Lafferty Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Steven Brodie presents the NIFWA Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame award to Gerry Armstrong Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Conor McLaughlin from Sunday Life presents the Top Goalscorer award to Joe Gormley Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Mark McIntosh presents the NIFWA Merit Award to Ruth McCreery (Glentoran) Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Jackie Fullerton with the BT Sport Young Player of Year to Gavin Whyte from Crusaders Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Gerry Armstrong and Jackie Fullerton Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. BT Sport Manager of Year to Stephen Baxter Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. BT Sport Young Player of Year to Gavin Whyte from Crusaders Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Angela Rogan of BT Sport presents the BT Sport Footballer of Year to Paul Heatley Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Steven Brodie presents the NIFWA Dr Malcolm Brodie Hall of Fame award to Gerry Armstrong Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Stephen Baxter and players Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Peter Strain, Brian Strain and Dee Heron Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Paul Heatley (Footballer of Year), Stephen Baxter (Manager of the Year) and Gavin Whyte (Young Player of Year) pictured before the Awards. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2015 - NIFWA Annual Dinner 2015 sponsored by BT Sport at the Ramada Hotel Belfast. Gerry and Debby Armstrong Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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