11/12/1968 Istanbul Turkey 3-0 Terry Harkin (2), Jimmy Nicholson
Pat Jennings, Dave Craig, Martin Harvey, Jimmy Nicholson, Terry Neill, Arthur Stewart, Bryan Hamilton, Eric McMordie, Derek Dougan, Terry Harkin, Dave Clements
Having defeated Turkey 4-1 at Windsor Park only three month previously Northern Ireland faced the same opponents away from home, and won 3-0, with goals from Terry Harkin (2) and Jimmy Nicholson. This win gave Northern Ireland 4 points (only 2 for a win in those days) and with only two games to play against the USSR fans were confident that we would qualify for Mexico ’70. Sadly two defeats against the Soviet Union meant it wasn’t to be.
* Trivia –
Bottles were continually thrown towards the Northern Irish bench during the match. The entire bench including manager Billy Bingham had to run for safety upon the final whistle.
Terry Neill contracted hepatitis during his stay in Turkey.
“Billy [Bingham] signed me for Southport, but he was also Northern Ireland manager at the time as well and he gave me my first cap. “It was unbelievable because I went in for the schoolboy trials and the youth team trials but never got picked. “I got an under 23 cap but that was part of the deal when I left Coleraine, they’d get money if I was to play in the under 23’s. But Billy gave me my first cap at the age of 28.”
“I was treated with the upmost respect by everybody there and didn’t have any bother playing at Windsor Park.” “Whenever I was young my uncles used to take me up to Windsor Park and squeeze me in and to think one day I could be playing out there so the first thing I did was rent a mini-bus for everybody to come and watch me.”
“I was brought up supporting Northern Ireland so when I was picked for Northern Ireland; it was great moment, I was so proud.”