1982 World Cup Finals
Spain V Northern
June 25th 1982
- Estudio Luis Casanova - Valencia
Billy Bingham`s men stood proudly alongside Spain`s
finest as the expectant, partisan crowd chanted "E-spanya,
E-spanya" in time with their drums.
It was billed as one way traffic, a certain win
for the host nation. But 93 odd minutes later, the
men in green had won 1-0 and recorded a famous victory
over the host nation.
If Algeria hadn`t beaten the mighty West Germany
2-1, then the Norn Iron result would have undoubtedly
been the shock of the tournament.
As the match progressed Sammy McIlroy had his calf
raked raw, Mal Donaghy was given a straight red card
for raising his hands, Norman Whiteside (the youngest
player ever to take part in World Cup finals - 17
years and 42 days) played like a seasoned pro - giving
as good as he got from the niggling Spanish players
and all the while big Pat Jennings stood firm in nets.
Suddenly the whole team started to believe that they
had a chance.........Billy Hamilton gracefully eluded
a challenge on the right wing and crossed the ball
towards the box.......Arcanada in the Spanish goal
could only parry the ball .........the whole stadium
held its breath as the oncoming Gerry Armstrong struck
the ball, hard and low between two defenders and the
keeper.......... into the back of the net.........
Then, after the euphoria of scoring had subsided,
the realisation began to dawn on the players that
now they had to defend their amazing lead.
The strangely named Lopez Ufarte ( yes, I am serious
) had two good chances with only Pat Jennings to beat,
but failed to net. The final whistle blew and the
stadium fell silent, apart from the small sea of green
dancing in unison.
They had done it ...Northern Ireland 1 .....Spain 0.
Not only had they beaten the host nation but they topped
the group and qualified for the next phase of the competition.
At this stage a very audible "Yeeeeaaaaaaaaassssssss"
could be heard from every household across Northern
Ireland -cups of tea , tins of beer, small children,
were thrown in the air. For my part , I ran around
the living room recreating the Armstrong strike ........except
the ball I kicked was the metal radiator! One broken
toe to me. But it was worth it.
HISTORIC AUDIO CLIP:
Listen to the builld up to the Spain match, including
Alan Green`s match reports, Billy Bingham`s its not
over yet attitude on the eve of the Spanish match....and
of course...the radio commentary of that goal
that I`ve just described....
You must have some great memories of that time ,
perhaps you have kept a treasured souvenir or knew
one of the players, please register with your place
and mine and share your memories.
Harry - Feb '07
Great article...brings back great memories of a fantastic
nite when the beautiful game once again went against
all the odds..we had a great team then and superb
management..it was all about football and taking part
then...no big name superstars at the time but after
it was over a team of heroes to us all...from big
pat in nets to the super gerry armstrong up front
and of course it launched gerrys career in spain and
so he deserved it
Harry - Feb '07
Is there anywere you can buy a copy of that game be
it on video or dvd?