23/02/2000 Luxembourg Luxembourg City 3-1 David Healy (2), James Quinn 1,800
Roy Carroll (Maik Taylor), Ian Nolan, Danny Griffin (Pat McGibbon), Aaron Hughes, Steve Lomas, Mark Williams (Colin Murdock), David Healy, James Quinn (Adrian Coote), Keith Gillespie (Stephen Robinson), Damien Johnson (Michael Hughes), Jim Magilton (Danny Sonner)
Things didn’t get off to the best of starts when the Northern Ireland’s team flight was cancelled. Sammy McIlroy was demanding answers while the players were making their feelings known about the farcical situation to the Irish Football Association representatives.
Eventually David Healy made his senior Northern Ireland debut scoring twice to give new boss Sammy McIlroy a winning start in his in Luxembourg. Healy – then 20 – scored in the 21st and 48th minutes to secure a 3-1 victory. At the time Healy had played just one senior game for Manchester United (against Aston Villa in the League Cup) showed great skill and commitment and was unlucky not to have grabbed a hat-trick after he was denied a penalty in the 16th minute.
David Healy: “I had played for the schoolboy team, under 16s, under 19s and under 21s and I felt ready to go into the senior side and I’ll always be grateful to Sammy McIlroy for giving me my chance in Luxembourg. I still remember Sammy telling me a few days before that I was going to play and feeling so excited that I could hardly sleep ahead of the game. Thankfully it went well and we won and I scored a couple of goals. It was a great night.”