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How Northern Ireland shocked Italy to reach 1958 World Cup and why hero Peter McParland believes current crop can repeat the feat

World Cup qualifying

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Heroes of ’58: Northern Ireland leave for Sweden in 1958 (from bottom, l-r) Bertie Peacock, Peter Doherty, Danny Blanchflower, Billy Simpson, Wilbur Cush, Jackie Scott, Tommy Casey, Sammy McCrory, Jimmy McIlroy, Peter McParland, Fay Coyle, Willie Cunningham, Norman Uprichard, Gerry Morgan, Billy Bingham and Derek Dougan

Heroes of ’58: Northern Ireland leave for Sweden in 1958 (from bottom, l-r) Bertie Peacock, Peter Doherty, Danny Blanchflower, Billy Simpson, Wilbur Cush, Jackie Scott, Tommy Casey, Sammy McCrory, Jimmy McIlroy, Peter McParland, Fay Coyle, Willie Cunningham, Norman Uprichard, Gerry Morgan, Billy Bingham and Derek Dougan

Heroes of ’58: Northern Ireland leave for Sweden in 1958 (from bottom, l-r) Bertie Peacock, Peter Doherty, Danny Blanchflower, Billy Simpson, Wilbur Cush, Jackie Scott, Tommy Casey, Sammy McCrory, Jimmy McIlroy, Peter McParland, Fay Coyle, Willie Cunningham, Norman Uprichard, Gerry Morgan, Billy Bingham and Derek Dougan

Northern Ireland great Peter McParland knows all about beating the Italians with a place in the World Cup finals on the line.

He did it in 1958 and hopes, come November 15 next year, the modern day players will have the chance to do the same.

Newry native McParland is 86 and as sharp as a razor blade. He's fun too, loves telling a good yarn and relishes recalling the glory days when he played for his country.


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