Gerry Armstrong’s 1982 World Cup aim for Northern Eire broke political obstacles and Spanish hearts
On the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Gerry Armstrong wrote his identify into the historical past books by scoring the profitable aim in Northern Eire’s iconic victory in opposition to the hosts.
Whereas his end within the forty seventh minute broke Spanish hearts, it did way more again in his residence nation. The aim transcended soccer, bringing a divided nation collectively to have a good time the success of the World Cup staff.
“Again on the staff lodge, there have been a whole lot of messages from around the globe; from the Taoiseach of Eire, from the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, from the Reverend Ian Paisley… telegrams got here from all over the place, from all denominations,” Armstrong tells FourFourTwo. “There have been avenue events throughout Eire.
“That’s when Norman Whiteside’s mum [a Protestant] was invited by my mum [a Catholic] to go from the Shankill Street to the Falls Street for tea and sandwiches. Digicam crews had been there. It broke down all the obstacles. Politicians had tried for years to carry the communities collectively, however soccer did it in a single World Cup sport.
“I believe that’s our best achievement from that World Cup – what it did for the individuals. They had been actually down and we gave them one thing to cheer them up.”
For the good thing about those that haven’t seen the aim in opposition to Spain that outlined his destiny, Armstrong intercepts the ball deep inside his personal half, two minutes after the interval, and performs it out extensive to Billy Hamilton.
Over to the late John Motson: “Gerry Armstrong, what a employee he’s, striding away there, with Hamilton to his proper and Norman Whiteside up on the far aspect of the world. It’s nonetheless Billy Hamilton, he’s bought previous Tendillo – Arconada – ARMSTRONG! Northern Eire have scored by means of Gerry Armstrong!”
Not even a crimson card for Mal Donaghy within the 61st minute might dampen Northern Eire’s resolve within the sport, as they held onto win 1-0.
Victory meant they completed high of Group 5, too, forward of Spain, Yugoslavia and Honduras. Nonetheless, they had been unable to progress from the second group stage on the match, with France knocking Norn Iron and Austria out.
Nonetheless, Armstrong completed as the best scoring participant from the UK with three objectives, whereas Northern Eire loved their most well-known victory.