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Billy Hamilton: The night we beat Spain in 1982 was not only memorable for the result, but the fact we were able to bring the people of Northern Ireland together for 90 minutes!

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Billy Hamilton is all smiles with Pat Jennings after Northern Ireland’s victory over Spain in Valencia

Billy Hamilton is all smiles with Pat Jennings after Northern Ireland’s victory over Spain in Valencia

Northern Ireland line up for what turned out to be that unforgettable victory over Spain at the 1982 World Cup

Northern Ireland line up for what turned out to be that unforgettable victory over Spain at the 1982 World Cup

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Billy Hamilton is all smiles with Pat Jennings after Northern Ireland’s victory over Spain in Valencia

A beautiful señorita, shocking refereeing and relief that Northern Ireland didn’t put Spain out of the 1982 World Cup Finals are Billy Hamilton’s recollections of the most famous night of football for the country.

Friday, June 25, 1982 was the night Billy Bingham’s boys beat the Spaniards 1-0 in Valencia, thanks to an unforgettable Gerry Armstrong goal that rocked the hosts to the core. Northern Ireland had been drawn against Yugoslavia, Honduras and Spain in Group 5 and, after two draws, desperately needed a win against the mighty Spain in a febrile Luis Casanova Stadium in Valencia.


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