13/12/1983 Belfast Scotland 2-0 Norman Whiteside, Sammy McIlroy
Pat Jennings, Jimmy Nicholl, Mal Donaghy, Gerry McElhinney, John McClelland, Ian Stewart, Norman Whiteside, Terry Cochrane (John O’Neill), Billy Hamilton, Sammy McIlroy, Paul Ramsey
Scotland fielded a team consisting of only Scottish based players with the exception of Graeme Souness. Graeme Souness shot beat Pat Jennings but smacked against a post for Scotland on 6, at the other end Northern Ireland took the lead on 17 when Billy Hamilton beat the defence on the left and slid in a ball for Norman Whiteside to slot home. Souness was again unlucky on 26, having a goal disallowed after the referee had already blown for a foul by Peter Weir. The 2nd Irish goal came on 55 when a chip into the box was taken down by Sammy McIlroy who then drove past Jim Leighton. Aberdeen’s Doug Rougvie played his one and only match for Scotland, Davie Dodds (2 caps) and Peter Weir (6 caps) made their final appearances. Jock Stein admitted; “The better side won, the Irish played well for each other and worked harder than we did.” Billy Bingham said; “It was the continuation of a good run of results against quality teams. You could say 1983 has been a vintage year.”
The 1983–84 British Home Championship was the one hundredth anniversary of the British Home Championship and the final football tournament between the Home Nations to be held, with both England and Scotland announcing their withdrawal from future competition, citing waning interest in the games, crowded international fixture lists and a sharp rise in hooliganism. Although the football competition was instituted in 1884, it was only the eighty-seventh tournament to be completed due to a five-year hiatus during World War I, a seven-year gap in World War II and the cancellation of the 1981 competition following threats of violence during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The tournament was surprising in its outcome, as the favourites in England and Scotland actually played each other into a 1–1 draw in the final game, thus allowing Northern Ireland to claim victory on goal difference, with Wales second. This was only the third time in 87 tournaments that (Northern) Ireland were undisputed champions and the fifth time goal difference was used. The trophy was permanently awarded to the Irish FA.