11th February – Today In Our Footballing History

11/02/1997 Belfast Belgium 3-0 James Quinn, Jim Magilton pen, Phil Mulryne

Tommy Wright, Barry Hunter (Danny Griffin), Steve Morrow, Gerry Taggart, Jim Magilton, Kevin Horlock (Jeff Whitley), Keith Gillespie, Steve Lomas, Neil Lennon (Nigel Worthington), Gerry McMahon (Phil Mulryne), James Quinn (George O’Boyle)

* Trivia –

Philip Mulryne made his debut in this game and scored his first international goal. At the age of 31, he began training in 2009 for the Roman Catholic priesthood. It is understood he was invited to enter the priesthood by the Bishop of Down and Connor. By 2016, he could be ordained as a priest for the diocese. His mother, Sally, confirmed her son’s vocation to a Sunday newspaper. She said it was a “big decision” for him but that he would be starting at the end of August.

Source: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/

Jeff Whitley came on as a substitute and in doing so became the first black player to compete at a senior level for Northern Ireland.

In 2005 before two crucial World Cup Qualifiers against Azerbaijan & England respectively, Cardiff teammates Jeff Whitley and Philip Mulryne were banished from the Northern Ireland squad by manager Lawrie Sanchez for breaking a curfew. They would never play for Northern Ireland again.

Lawrie Sanchez –

“They broke a curfew and as a consequence they have been sent home. You have to abide by a curfew and they didn’t. It’s very disappointing to have to do this, but there was no other choice, you need discipline in a camp.”

“I think they are a little bit shocked. Ultimately for a player it is the ultimate sanction to be sent home from an international get-together. It is something that is always remembered and it is not something that you do lightly, but I felt at the time, in what was a big week for us, that we needed everybody to be disciplined or professional about what they are doing and about the way they are approaching the game.”


Mulryne bowls over bewildered Belgium

Picture: Gary Hancock

Picture: Gary Hancock



Northern Ireland’s Footballing Greats


Other Events Which Happened On The 11th February


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