21/08/2002 Belfast Cyprus 0-0
Maik Taylor, Danny Griffin (Michael Duff), Colin Murdock, Mark Williams, George McCartney, Peter Kennedy, Keith Gillespie (Warren Feeney), Damien Johnson, David Healy, James Quinn, Kevin Horlock
Neil Lennon was forced to withdraw from the Northern Ireland team to face Cyprus after a reported death threat from a paramilitary group. Lennon was due to captain the team in the friendly international. Mark Williams was the stand-in skipper for the match which finished in a dull nil-nil draw.
Neill Lennon –
“After close consultation with the footballing authorities and the police service of Northern Ireland I will not be participating in this evening’s international game. I am very disappointed that my desire to play for my country, on my first opportunity to captain my team, has been taken away from me.”
“It’s a real pity that it all has to end like this. Obviously I can’t put them [his family] through this every time. So I’ve thought long and hard about it and I’ve decided that I probably won’t be going back to play for Northern Ireland.”
Sammy McIlroy –
“We all thought this sort of thing was behind us, but it’s still there. But we won’t let them beat us. Northern Ireland football will come through this and hopefully Neil Lennon will still be part of the side.”