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Release Date: 25/06/2012

“GERRY Armstrong, what a worker he is! Striding away there with Hamilton to his right. Norman Whiteside up on the far side of the area...still Billy Hamilton, he’s got past Tendillio. And Arconada.....Armstrong!”

It requires no introduction, does it?  Commentator John Motson’s words describing Gerry Armstrong’s strike in the 1982 World Cup Finals against Spain are legendary.

And today (June 25) marks the 30th anniversary of that famous goal and Northern Ireland’s victory over tournament hosts Spain in Valencia.

In their opening game of the ’82 Finals, Billy Bingham’s side drew 0-0 with Yugoslavia in Zaragoza; before drawing 1-1 with Honduras at the same venue.

Going into the last game in Group 5, no-one could have predicted the outcome.  Who would have thought that little Northern Ireland could defeat the mighty Spain?  But beat them they did.  A never say die attitude from the players and Gerry Armstrong’s goal on 47 minutes secured a 1-0 win for Bingham’s boys and booked the team’s place in the quarter-finals after they topped their group.

World Cup Finals – Valencia - 25 June 1982 (attendance 49,562)

Spain 0-1 Northern Ireland (Gerry Armstrong – 47mins)

Northern Ireland: Pat Jennings (Arsenal), Jimmy Nicholl (Toronto Blizzard), Mal Donaghy (Luton Town), John McClelland (Glasgow Rangers), Chris Nicholl (Southampton), Martin O’Neill (Norwich City) (capt), David McCreery (Tulsa Roughnecks), Sammy McIlroy (Stoke City), Gerry Armstrong (Watford), Billy Hamilton (Burnley), Norman Whiteside (Manchester United). Subs: Tommy Cassidy (Burnley) replaced McIlroy (54 mins); Sammy Nelson (Brighton & Hove Albion) replaced Whiteside (68 mins): Sent-Off: Mal Donaghy (61 mins).

Spain: 1.Arconada (Real Sociedad) (capt), 2.Camacho (Real Madrid), 3.Gordillo (Real Betis), 4.Alonso (Real Sociedad), 5.Tendillo (Valencia), 6.Alesanco (Barcelona), 7.Juanito (Real Madrid), 16.Sanchez (Barcelona), 9.Satrustegui (Real Sociedad), 15.Saura (Valencia), 11.Ufarte (Real Sociedad). Subs: 12.Gallego (Real Madrid) replaced Ufarte (71 mins); 20.Quini (Barcelona) replaced Satrustegui (46 mins): Booked: Juanito (20 mins):

Referee: Hector Ortiz (Paraquay); Linesmen Alexis Ponnet (Belgium); Enrique Labo Revoredo (Peru).

Irish FA TV recently caught up with Gerry Armstrong and David McCreery about that famous night in Valencia.


David McCreery

Gerry Armstrong

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