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The BelTel: 1982 World Cup Anniversary Special - 'O’Neill knew Northern Ireland were on verge of greatness'

On the 40th anniversary of Northern Ireland’s famous win over Spain in Valencia we look back on how Gerry Armstrong’s goal against the World Cup '82 hosts united the country during some very dark times

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Northern Ireland duo Gerry Armstrong and Martin O’Neill after beating Spain

Northern Ireland duo Gerry Armstrong and Martin O’Neill after beating Spain

Northern Ireland duo Gerry Armstrong and Martin O’Neill after beating Spain

Gerry Armstrong has told the story of how Northern Ireland’s 1982 World Cup captain turned into mystic Martin O’Neill before the country’s iconic victory against Spain.

Armstrong explained what went on in the team meeting the day before the match in Valencia kicked off when O’Neill predicted what would unfold.

After draws against Yugoslavia and Honduras, Northern Ireland needed to beat the Spanish to progress to the next stage of the competition.

Few gave them a chance. Certainly not the press in Spain who were hostile towards the Northern Irish players ahead of the game — a point used by master motivator Billy Bingham prior to kick-off.

Host: Steven Beacom; Guests: Gerry Armstrong, Jim Shaw and Mike Nesbitt

Spain '82: Special episode

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