06/04/1960 Wrexham Wales 2-3 Danny Blanchflower pen, Billy Bingham
Harry Gregg, Alex Elder, Alf McMichael, Danny Blanchflower, Willie Cunningham, Wilbur Cush, Billy Bingham, Jimmy McIlroy, Ian Lawther, Jimmy Hill, Peter McParland
The 1959-60 British Home Championship finished with a three-way tie for the title between England, Scotland and Wales on 4 points each. Northern Ireland unfortunately finished last having lost all their games having shared the trophy each of the previous two seasons. Goal difference was not used but if it had of been Scotland would have won with a goal difference of +4 while Wales and England’s was +2. The three countries sharing the trophy only won a single game each, all against a Northern Ireland side containing the heroes of the 1958 World Cup. The matches between the three sides ended in draws.
Wales were nearly kicking themselves at the end of the match as they were 3-0 up after 65 minutes but let Northern Ireland back into the game with two goals in the space of fifteen minutes. Northern Ireland in fact could have equalised but the score remained 3-2 to Wales.
Wales opened the scoring in the 4th minute when a Terry Medwin (Tottenham Hotspur) shot flew past Harry Gregg (Manchester United). The score remained 1-0 to Wales until the second half.
Medwin scored Wales’ second in the 57th minute from another powerful shot this time low along the ground.
A penalty kick was awarded to Wales ten minutes later after Jones was knocked over by Northern Ireland defender Willie Cunningham (Leicester City). Jones himself dusted himself down to score Wales’ third.
Wales having dropped their heads after taking a substantial lead allowed Northern Ireland to get back into the game. Billy Bingham (Luton Town) scored with a great header in the 67th minute, while in the 80th minute Jimmy McIlroy (Burnley) was brought down in the area and up stepped captain Danny Blanchflower to score Northern Ireland’s second goal of the match.
Wales hung on to take the victory while the Irish Football Association were left scratching their heads as to why Northern Ireland had lost all their matches. Was this the beginning of the end for the heroes of ’58 in Ireland shirts?