26th March – Today In Our Footballing History

26/03/2008 Belfast Georgia 4-1 Kyle Lafferty (2), David Healy, Peter Thompson

Maik Taylor (Alan Mannus), Chris Baird, Aaron Hughes, Stephen Craigan (Gareth McAuley), Jonathan Evans, Keith Gillespie, Damien Johnson (Michael O’Connor), Steven Davis (Michael Gault), Stuart Elliott, David Healy (Peter Thompson), Kyle Lafferty (Warren Feeney)

President of the Union of European Football Associations, Michel Platini (who missed the England v France match played at the same time in London) – “His [David Healy] goal tally of 13 goals is a new record and deserves to be recognised, I am sure that this record will last for some time to come. David Healy’s record goes down in history and he beat a world-class striker in Davor Šuker to do so. I am sure this record will last for some time to come and will be hard to beat.”

David Healy – “For him to take the time out to come to Belfast to present the award is a great honour. It’s a great honour to hold the record.”

* Trivia –

David Healy had a memorable night receiving an award for becoming the highest European Championship Qualifying goal scorer (13 goals beating Davor Šuker’s previous tally of 12 goals), he also scored a goal for Northern Ireland in their 4-1 victory against Georgia. However, Georgia’s sole goal was an own goal scored by… David Healy after Maik Taylor had saved Levan Tskitishvili’s penalty which Healy attempted to clear only to knock it into the net.

Northern Ireland 4-1 Georgia

Platini honours NI striker Healy

2008 NI-Geo

Northern Ireland Footballing Greats



26/03/1980 Tel Aviv Israel 0-0

Pat Jennings, Chris Nicholl, John O’Neill, Sammy Nelson, Jimmy Nicholl, Tommy Cassidy, Tom Finney (Derek Spence), Martin O’Neill, Sammy McIlroy, Gerry Armstrong, Terry Cochrane

The humidity was suffocating when Northern Ireland kicked off their World Cup 1982 campaign against Israel. The score was 0-0 after 70 minutes largely due to Pat Jennings pulling off some decent saves, however, the lights of the Ramat Gan stadium began to dim. This didn’t put off ‘Big Pat’ as he was still able to collect every ball which came near him. As the clock showed 75 minutes the light was no more as Yugoslav referee Stjepan Glavina blew his whistle and called a halt to the match. The Irish FA delegates were worried that the game would be abandoned completely and they would have to rearrange the game for another time. Their worries were soon to be vanished when the Israeli electricians managed to bring power back on after 15 minutes. Northern Ireland hung on to earn a point with manager Billy Bingham saying he was “pleased”.

Author: Magheramesk

This was Israel’s first appearance in a European zone match for 15 years and their line-up included Liverpool’s Avi Cohen. The late afternoon/early evening match (Israel time) was interrupted for 15 minutes because of a floodlight failure 75 minutes into play, Rifat Turk – the only Arab in the Israel team – hit the crossbar with a free-kick in half darkness when the floodlights began to fail. Pat Jennings also had to make some good saves. Israel’s British coach Jack Mansell said afterwards that “We were the better team, playing good fighting football. We are not to be written off in this group.”

Source: homepage.ntlworld.com/carousel

Mal Donaghy: I was stripped and ready to come on as a sub [to make his international debut]… and Billy Bingham was actually standing with me on the touchline ready to send me out in place of Tommy Cassidy. But before I could get into the action, the ref blew for full-time!”

John O’Neill recalls NI debut in Israel



Northern Ireland Footballing Greats



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