20th September – Today In Our Footballing History

20/09/1978 Dublin Republic Of Ireland 0-0

Pat Jennings, Pat Rice, Sammy Nelson, Allan Hunter (Bryan Hamilton), Chris Nicholl, Jimmy Nicholl, David McCreery, Martin O’Neill, Gerry Armstrong, Sammy McIlroy, Derek Spence (Terry Cochrane)

The most eagerly awaited contest in Ireland for years sadly turned out to be a total non-event, the Republic player-manager Johnny Giles – who ended up being booed by some of the home fans – admitted “We were scratchy all through and never got our game together.” Northern Ireland boss Danny Blanchflower said afterwards that it was “the perfect political result.”

Source: homepage.ntlworld.com/carousel

Gerry Armstrong:

“It was an odd atmosphere, we all knew each other too well. A lot of us were club mates. There was hardly a foul. Everyone was conscious of avoiding trouble. We realised the eyes of the world would be on us. It didn’t stop wee Dee McCreery doing a magnificent man-for-man job on [Liam] Brady. That meant they never got into top gear, and I almost stole the points with a header against the bar.”

Liam Brady:

“David [McCreery] didn’t give me an inch that day. I just couldn’t shake him off. The odd time I got past he as snapping at my heels.”

Malcolm Brodie (The Belfast Telegraph):

“The football in this historic European Championship clash between the two Ireland;s at Lansdowne Road, Dublin will not live long in the memory but the day itself will be forever imprinted. It was a fantastic occasion, unique in sport. The tension was electric. Anybody who watched those 90 minutes in the stadium could not help but be gripped by it.”

Jimmy Dubois (The Newsletter):

“Overall, the Northern Irish team were superior and should have won, although chances were missed at both ends … The result was a moral victory.”

* Trivia –

The 2000 travelling Northern Ireland fans booed the Soldiers Song and chanted “What a load of rubbish” at the Irish police band!

Irish Sides In Scrappy Draw

Photographers: Eddie Harvey & Roy Smyth





Photographers: Eddie Harvey & Roy Smyth

Northern Ireland manager Danny Blanchflower and Republic of Ireland player-manager Johnny Giles shake hands after the match.

Source: http://nifootball.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/321-20-september-1978.html


Source: Sheepman


Northern Ireland Footballing Greats



One response to “20th September – Today In Our Footballing History

  1. Brilliant day on the train down to Dublin. The NI fans sat down on the terraces when the Soldiers Song was played. On the journey home the train windows were bricked outside Lurgan. Some things never change!

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