Northern Ireland national football team: Wikis


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Northern Ireland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Association Irish Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Nigel Worthington
Asst coach Glynn Snodin
Captain Aaron Hughes
Most caps Pat Jennings (119)
Top scorer David Healy (35)
FIFA ranking 40
Highest FIFA ranking 27 (August 2007, April 2009)
Lowest FIFA ranking 124 (March 2004)
Elo ranking 71
Highest Elo ranking 4 or 15[1] (1882-5 or May 1986)
Lowest Elo ranking 97 (February 2004)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
 Ireland 0 - 13 England 
(Belfast, Ireland; 18 February 1882)
Biggest win
 Ireland 7 - 0 Wales 
(Belfast, Northern Ireland; 1 February 1930)
Biggest defeat
 Ireland 0 - 13 England 
(Belfast, Ireland; 18 February 1882)
World Cup
Appearances 3 (First in 1958)
Best result Quarterfinals, 1958, 1982

The Northern Ireland national football team represents Northern Ireland in international football. Before 1921, all of Ireland was represented by a single side, the Ireland national football team, organised by the Irish Football Association (IFA). In 1921, the jurisdiction of the IFA was reduced to Northern Ireland, following the secession of clubs in the soon-to-be Irish Free State, although its team purported to remain the national team for all of Ireland until 1950, and to use the name Ireland until the 1970s. The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) organises the separate Republic of Ireland national football team.



On 18 February 1882, two years after the founding of the Irish FA, Ireland made their international debut against England, losing 13-0 in a friendly played at Bloomfield Park in Belfast. This remains the record win for England and the record defeat for the Northern Ireland team. On 25 February 1882 Ireland played their second international against Wales at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham and an equaliser from Johnston became Ireland’s first ever goal.

In 1884 Ireland competed in the inaugural British Home Championship and lost all three games. Ireland did not win their first game until 19 February 1887, a 4-1 win over Wales in Belfast. Between their debut and this game, they had a run of 14 defeats and 1 draw, the longest run without a win in the 1800s. Despite the end of this run, heavy defeats continued. On 3 March 1888 they lost 11-0 to Wales and three weeks later on 24 March they lost 10-2 to Scotland. Further heavy defeats came on 15 March 1890 when they lost 9-1 to England, on 18 February 1899 when they lost 13-2 to England and on 2 February 1901 when they lost 11-0 to Scotland.

In 1899 the Irish FA also changed its rules governing the selection of non-resident players. Before then the Ireland team selected its players exclusively from the Irish League, in particular the three Belfast-based clubs Linfield, Cliftonville and Distillery. On 4 March 1899 for the game against Wales, McAteer included four Irish players based in England. The change in policy produced dividends as Ireland won 1-0. Three weeks later, on 25 March one of these four players, Archie Goodall, aged 34 years and 279 days, became the oldest player to score in international football during the 19th century when he scored Ireland’s goal in a 9-1 defeat to Scotland.

In 1920 Ireland was partitioned into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. In 1922, Southern Ireland gained independence as the Irish Free State, later to become a republic under the name of Ireland. Amid these political upheavals, a rival football association, the Football Association of Ireland, emerged in Dublin in 1921 and organised a separate league and international team. In 1923, at a time when the home nations had withdrawn from FIFA, the FAI was recognised by FIFA as the governing body of the Irish Free State on the condition that it changed its name to the Football Association of the Irish Free State. The Irish FA continued to organise its national team on an all-Ireland basis.

Between 1928 and 1946 the IFA were not affiliated to FIFA and the two Ireland teams co-existed, never competing in the same competition. However, on 8 March 1950, in 0-0 draw with Wales at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham in a World Cup qualifier, the IFA fielded a team that included four players who were born in the Irish Free State. All four players had previously played for the FAI in their qualifiers and as a result had played for two different associations in the same FIFA World Cup tournament.

After complaints from the FAI, FIFA intervened and restricted players' eligibility based on the political border. In 1953 FIFA ruled neither team could be referred to as Ireland, decreeing that the FAI team be officially designated as the Republic of Ireland, while the IFA team was to become Northern Ireland.

Current player eligibility rules

After the Good Friday Agreement, players holding either a British or Irish passport, but otherwise eligible for Northern Ireland, could play for the national team[2] For a brief period in 2006, a FIFA ruling stated NI players must carry British passports due to difficulties for match commissioners,[3] but it was quickly modified to state that players must merely prove their eligibility to the IFA.[4] In 2008, the rules were changed so that merely holding a passport did not automatically qualify players as eligible; players eligible for Northern Ireland who wished to declare for the Republic of Ireland, or vice versa, must have been resident in the target country for two years, or have family ties.[5][6] Due to the 2008 rule changes, goalkeeper Maik Taylor is said to be unique among Northern Ireland national team players in never having had a background in the country.[6]

Past performances


British Home Championship

Until the 1950s, the major competition for Northern Ireland/Ireland was the British Home Championship. The team had won the competition eight times, taking the title outright on three occasions, they were the last winners of the now defunct competition held in 1984, and hence still are the British champions, and the trophy remains the property of the Irish FA. This is much celebrated by their fans.[citation needed]

World Cup

Northern Ireland's best World Cup performance was in their first appearance in the competition, the 1958 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals after beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the play-off. They were knocked out by France, losing 4-0. In the 1958 competition Northern Ireland became the smallest country to have qualified for the World Cup, a record that stood until Trinidad & Tobago qualified for the 2006 World Cup. Northern Ireland remains, however, the smallest country to have qualified for more than one World Cup, and the smallest country to have reached the World Cup quarter-finals.

Northern Ireland also qualified for the 1982 World Cup. Gerry Armstrong was a Northern Irish football player, who played during the 1970s and 1980s. He is best remembered for scoring the goal in the 1982 World Cup that enabled Northern Ireland to beat the tournament's hosts, Spain, in a shock 1-0 win again reaching the quarter-finals after topping the first stage group, Norman Whiteside became the youngest ever player in the World Cup finals, a record that still stands. In the 1986 World Cup, they reached the first round. Billy Bingham, a member of the 1958 squad, was manager for both of these tournaments. They have not qualified for any other World Cups.

European Championship

The side have yet to participate in their first European Championship finals. This is in despite of the fact that Northern Ireland beat the former West Germany 1-0 home and away in qualifiers for Euro 84. More recently, David Healy broke the record for goals scored in one Euro campaign, previously held by Davor Suker of Croatia, by scoring 13 times in Northern Ireland's brave, but ultimately doomed, attempt to qualify for Euro 2008. Healy scored thrice against Spain, twice against Sweden, 5 times against Liechtenstein, once against Denmark, once against Latvia, and also scored against Iceland. He also became the first player ever to score 2 hat tricks for Northern Ireland. He had previously been one of only three players to score a hat-trick for Northern Ireland - the others being George Best and Colin Clarke.

Recent history

The Our Wee Country mural in east Belfast commemorating Northern Ireland beating England at home in 2005.

Lawrie Sanchez was appointed in January 2004 after a run of ten games without a goal under the previous manager Sammy McIlroy, which was a world record for any international team. That run ended after his first game in charge, a 1–4 defeat to Norway in a friendly in February 2004. The run of sixteen games without a win ended after his second game, a 1–0 victory in a friendly over Estonia, with a largely experimental side, in March 2004.

On 7 September 2005, Northern Ireland beat England 1–0 in a 2006 World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park. David Healy scored the winner in the 73rd minute. Almost a year later, on 6 September 2006, Northern Ireland defeated Spain 3–2 in a qualifier for Euro 2008, with Healy scoring a hat-trick. In the following match, Healy became the only Northern Irish player to score two hat-tricks after scoring all of Northern Ireland's goals in their 3-1 win over Liechtenstein. Healy also scored a brace in the 2-1 victory over Sweden in the same qualification group. Healy scored thirteen out of Northern Ireland's fifteen Euro 2008 qualification goals in seven matches, and was the leading goalscorer in the competition. In June 2007 Nigel Worthington was named manager in the place of Lawrie Sanchez, who took over at Fulham. Initially Worthington took over until the end of the Euro 2008 qualifiers but was later given a contract until 2010.

Summary of all Northern Ireland's competitive results

All competitive matches[citation needed]
P W D L F A Gd
466 116 100 250 503 952 -451
All matches including friendlies [7][8]
P W D L F A Gd
558 139 126 293 592 1114 -522

Data correct as of Northern Ireland v Serbia, 14 November 2009

The team have also won the Home Championship 8 times, including 5 shared.

Fixtures and results

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Northern Ireland were drawn from the third pot during the UEFA group draw. They began their campaign to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on September 6, 2008 playing away against Slovakia, (lost 2–1). Four days later they hosted the Czech Republic and held them to a scoreless draw. Northern Ireland then lost their third qualification match 2–0 at Slovenia, leaving the Northern Ireland side with only one point and one goal scored through three matches. However, they bounced back for back-to-back victories over UEFA minnows San Marino by scores of 4–0 and 3–0, lifting them to second equal in the group with seven points and a goal difference of +4 with half of their group matches remaining. In the following round of matches Northern Ireland maintained their winning streak by defeating Poland 3-2 at Windsor Park, however the match was marred by the riots before kick-off. Northern Ireland then defeated Slovenia 1-0 in their next qualification match to ensure they remained 2nd in their qualifying group. In September 2009 the team travelled to Poland, where pre-match planning by the footballing federations of both teams and the police ensured that a repeat of the riots in Belfast did not happen this time around. The game ended 1-1 after Northern Ireland took the lead through Kyle Lafferty, but Poland levelled in the 78th minute through Lewandowski.

Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Slovakia 10 7 1 2 22 10 +12 22
 Slovenia 10 6 2 2 18 4 +14 20
 Czech Republic 10 4 4 2 17 6 +11 16
 Northern Ireland 10 4 3 3 13 9 +4 15
 Poland 10 3 2 5 19 14 +5 11
 San Marino 10 0 0 10 1 47 −46 0
  Czech Republic Northern Ireland Poland San Marino Slovakia Slovenia
Czech Republic  0 – 0 2 – 0 7 – 0 1 – 2 1 – 0
Northern Ireland  0 – 0 3 – 2 4 – 0 0 – 2 1 – 0
Poland  2 – 1 1 – 1 10 – 0 0 – 1 1 – 1
San Marino  0 – 3 0 – 3 0 – 2 1 – 3 0 – 3
Slovakia  2 – 2 2 – 1 2 – 1 7 – 0 0 – 2
Slovenia  0 – 0 2 – 0 3 – 0 5 – 0 2 – 1

2009 international matches

Northern Ireland matches scheduled for 2009:[9]

Date Venue Opponent Score Competition Goalscorers (Career goal)
11 February 2009 San Marino Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle  San Marino 0–3 W WCQ G3 Gareth McAuley (1)
Grant McCann (3)
Chris Brunt (1)
28 March 2009 Northern Ireland Windsor Park, Belfast  Poland 3–2 W WCQ G3 Warren Feeney (4)
Jonny Evans (1)
Michał Żewłakow (own goal)
1 April 2009 Northern Ireland Windsor Park, Belfast  Slovenia 1–0 W WCQ G3 Warren Feeney (5)
6 June 2009 Italy Arena Garibaldi - Stadio Romeo Anconetani, Pisa  Italy 3–0 L Friendly
12 August 2009 Northern Ireland Windsor Park, Belfast  Israel 1–1 D Friendly Grant McCann (4)
5 September 2009 Poland Silesian Stadium, Chorzow  Poland 1-1 D WCQ G3 Kyle Lafferty (7)
9 September 2009 Northern Ireland Windsor Park, Belfast  Slovakia 0–2 L WCQ G3
14 October 2009 Czech Republic Synot Tip Aréna, Prague  Czech Republic 0–0 D WCQ G3
14 November 2009 Northern Ireland Windsor Park, Belfast  Serbia 0-1 L Friendly

Controversy and sectarianism

Some of Northern Ireland's fans have been perceived as sectarian by opposing elements in Northern Irish society. Neil Lennon, who had been subject to boos and jeers from some supporters while playing for Northern Ireland in Windsor Park, was given a death-threat, due to his association with Celtic F.C..

Steps have been taken to eradicate the sectarian element within the support,[10] and these have proved to be very successful.[11] Lennon has been quick to heap praise on the Northern Ireland fans,[12] and in particular "Football For All" Outstanding Achievement Award Winner Stewart MacAfee,[13] for the work they have carried out to create a more inclusive atmosphere at international games.

People like Stewart are the unsung heroes who have been brave enough to challenge sectarianism and who have actively created a more fun, safe and family-orientated atmosphere at international games. Fans like Stewart have made the atmosphere at Northern Ireland football games in recent years the envy of Fans across not only Europe but World football. From a personal point of view I would like to thank them for their efforts.

Neil Lennon


Windsor Park - a view from the Kop Stand, showing the two-tiered North Stand and the low Railway stand behind the opposite goal

Northern Ireland play their home matches at Windsor Park, Belfast, home of Linfield F.C., which they have use of on a one hundred and eight year lease, giving the owners 15% of revenue, including gate receipts and TV rights.[14].

There was a proposal to build a multisports stadium for Northern Ireland at the disused Maze prison outside Lisburn for the use of Rugby, Gaelic games and football.[15] This plan was given an "in principle" go-ahead by the Irish Football Association. However, it was opposed by fans, over 85% of whom in a match day poll conducted by the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs ("AONISC") preferred to stay at a smaller new or redeveloped ground in the city of Belfast.[16] The AONISC organised a protest against the move to the Maze at the game against Estonia in March 2006.

The issue assumed ever greater urgency by 2007, following a series of inspections which questioned the suitability of Windsor Park to host international football.[17] Following a reduction of capacity due to the closure of the Railway Stand, the IFA made it known that they wished to terminate their contract for the use of the stadium.[18] A report on health and safety in October 2007 indicated that the South Stand might have to be closed for internationals, which would further reduce the stadium's capacity to 9,000.[19] In April 2008, Belfast City Council announced that they had commissioned Drivers Jonas to conduct a feasibility study into the building of a Sports Stadium in Belfast which could accommodate international football, which was followed at the beginning of May 2008 by speculation that the Maze Stadium project was going to be radically revised by Peter Robinson, the Finance and Personnel Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly, so that any construction might be used for purposes other than football, rugby union and Gaelic games. Given the time that is needed to build a new stadium, in the absence of significant work improving Windsor Park, Northern Ireland may be forced to play their home games at a venue outside Northern Ireland for a period. Everton FC's Goodison Park in Liverpool has been touted as a possible alternative.

In March 2009, proposals were announced for the construction of a new 25,000 seat stadium in the Sydenham area of East Belfast as an alternative to the Maze proposal. This would form part of a major development, with links to both George Best Belfast City Airport and the Bangor railway line. The development would also include a hotel, and retail/leisure areas. The stadium itself would be used for both football and rugby union, with Glentoran and Ulster Rugby intended as tenants. However, Ulster GAA, who were a partner in the Maze proposal, have stated that in the event of a new stadium being built in East Belfast, which is a major unionist area, their preference would then be to remain at Casement Park in nationalist West Belfast.[20]

The IFA were initially non-committal about any of the proposals for improving their facilities, be it rebuilding Windsor Park, or supporting either the Maze or Sydenham proposals. However, in September 2009, they issued an announcement in favour of the redevelopment of Windsor Park.[21] Although there were no specifics to this, Linfield had previously released a study with two proposals, of which the major one would be a £20m rebuilding of the stadium, raising capacity to 20,000.[22]

Popular culture

Since the defeat of England in 2005 there has been an increased demand for tickets outstripping supply.[23] Tongue-in-cheek songs such as "We're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland" (sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, an American Civil War song [24]), 'It's Just Like Watching Brazil' and 'Stand up for the Ulstermen' are popular at home matches. In 2006, Northern Ireland's supporters were awarded the Brussels International Supporters Award,[25] for their charity work, general good humour and behaviour and efforts to stamp out sectarianism. Representatives of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs received the award from UEFA and EU representatives prior to the Northern Ireland versus Spain game at Windsor Park in September 2006. The team have various supporters' clubs and the Our Wee Country fans' website.

Current players

The following players were called up for the match against Serbia on 14 November 2009.

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
GK Maik Taylor 4 September 1971 (1971-09-04) (age 38) 81 0 England Birmingham City
GK Alan Mannus 19 May 1982 (1982-05-19) (age 27) 4 0 Republic of Ireland Shamrock Rovers
GK Jonathan Tuffey 20 January 1987 (1987-01-20) (age 23) 3 0 Scotland Partick Thistle
DF Stephen Craigan 29 October 1976 (1976-10-29) (age 33) 44 0 Scotland Motherwell
DF Aaron Hughes 8 November 1979 (1979-11-08) (age 30) 70 0 England Fulham
DF Gareth McAuley 5 December 1979 (1979-12-05) (age 30) 20 1 England Ipswich Town
DF Chris Baird 25 February 1982 (1982-02-25) (age 28) 43 0 England Fulham
DF Jonny Evans 3 January 1988 (1988-01-03) (age 22) 19 1 England Manchester United
DF George McCartney 4 May 1981 (1981-29-04) (age 28) 32 1 England Sunderland
MF Grant McCann 14 April 1980 (1980-04-14) (age 29) 26 4 England Scunthorpe United
MF Chris Brunt 14 December 1984 (1984-12-14) (age 25) 25 1 England West Bromwich Albion
MF Niall McGinn 20 July 1987 (1987-07-20) (age 22) 5 0 Scotland Celtic
MF Steven Davis 1 January 1985 (1985-01-01) (age 25) 38 2 Scotland Rangers
MF Pat McCourt 16 December 1983 (1983-12-16) (age 26) 2 0 Scotland Celtic
MF Michael O'Connor 6 October 1987 (1987-10-06) (age 22) 7 0 England Scunthorpe United
MF Dean Shiels 1 February 1985 (1985-02-01) (age 25) 8 0 England Doncaster Rovers
FW David Healy 5 August 1979 (1979-08-05) (age 30) 78 35 England Ipswich Town
FW Kyle Lafferty 16 September 1987 (1987-09-16) (age 22) 22 7 Scotland Rangers
FW Andy Kirk 29 May 1979 (1979-05-29) (age 30) 9 0 Scotland Dunfermline Athletic
FW Warren Feeney 17 January 1981 (1981-01-17) (age 29) 33 5 Wales Cardiff City

Recent call ups

The following players have been called up to the Northern Ireland squad during the last 6 months (for match vs Poland on 5 September 2009 or more recently)

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
DF Ryan McGivern 8 January 1990 (1990-01-08) (age 20) 7 0 England Leicester City
DF Colin Coates 26 October 1985 (1985-10-26) (age 24) 1 0 Northern Ireland Crusaders
MF Sammy Clingan 13 January 1984 (1984-01-13) (age 26) 24 0 England Coventry City
MF Damien Johnson 18 November 1978 (1978-11-18) (age 31) 55 0 England Birmingham City
FW Martin Paterson 10 May 1987 (1987-05-10) (age 22) 11 0 England Burnley
FW Billy Kee 1 December 1990 (1990-12-01) (age 19) 0 0 England Accrington Stanley
MF Jamie Ward 12 May 1986 (1986-05-12) (age 23) 0 0 England Sheffield United
Rory Patterson 1 January 1986 (1986-01-01) (age 24) 1 0 Northern Ireland Coleraine FC

Coaching staff

History in major tournaments

World Cup

European Championship


Player records

Northern Ireland players with 50 or more caps

As of 9 September 2009, the players with the most caps for Northern Ireland are:

Alan McDonald who played in the 1986 world cup finals
# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Pat Jennings 1964–1986 119 0
2 Mal Donaghy 1980–1994 91 0
3 Sammy McIlroy 1972–1987 88 5
4 Keith Gillespie 1995–2008 86 2
5 Maik Taylor 1999–present 80 0
6 David Healy 2000–present 77 35
7 Jimmy Nicholl 1976–1986 73 1
8= Michael Hughes 1992–2004 71 5
8= Aaron Hughes 1998–present 71 0
10 David McCreery 1976–1990 67 0
11 Nigel Worthington 1984–1997 66 0
12 Martin O'Neill 1972–1985 64 8
13 Gerry Armstrong 1977–1986 63 12
14= Iain Dowie 1990–2000 59 12
14= Terry Neill 1961–1973 59 2
16= Billy Bingham 1951–1964 56 10
16= Danny Blanchflower 1950–1963 56 2
18= Jimmy McIlroy 1952–1966 55 10
18= Damien Johnson 1999–Present 55 0
20= Allan Hunter 1970–1980 53 1
20= John McClelland 1980–1990 53 1
22= Jim Magilton 1991–2002 52 5
22= Alan McDonald 1986–1996 52 3
24= Sammy Nelson 1970–1982 51 1
24= Chris Nicholl 1975–1984 51 3
24= Gerry Taggart 1990–2002 51 7
27= Bryan Hamilton 1969–1980 50 4
27= James Quinn 1996–2007 50 4

Top Ireland / Northern Ireland goalscorers

David Healy, the current top goalscorer of Northern Ireland
# Player Career Goals (Caps) Goals per game
1 David Healy 2000–present 35 (77) 0.45
2 Billy Gillespie 1913–1932 13 (25) 0.52
2= Colin Clarke 1986–1993 13 (38) 0.34
4 Joe Bambrick 1928–1940 12 (11) 1.09
4= Gerry Armstrong 1977–1986 12 (63) 0.19
4= Jimmy Quinn 1985–1996 12 (46) 0.26
4= Iain Dowie 1990–2000 12 (59) 0.20
8 Billy Bingham 1951–1964 10 (56) 0.18
8= Jimmy McIlroy 1952–1966 10 (55) 0.18
8= Peter McParland 1954–1962 10 (34) 0.29
8= Johnny Crossan 1960–1968 10 (24) 0.42

Media coverage

Sky Sports currently have the rights to show Northern Ireland's home international fixtures after many years of the games being exclusively live on BBC Northern Ireland. The decision to sell to Sky was met with disapproval.[26], however BBC Northern Ireland have bought the rights to some away games and highlights of all home matches. Setanta Sports bought rights to all but one of Northern Ireland away games. However the future of these rights are up in the air as Setanta has gone bust in the UK. Coincidently, the match that wasn't bought by Setanta was shown on BBC NI on Match of the Day from Northern Ireland.

See also


  1. ^ The official Elo ratings pages combine the pre-1923 IFA team's results with the post-1923 FAI team. The highest ranking for the pre-1923 team is 4th, in 1882-5.("World Football Elo Ratings: Ireland". Retrieved 2007-02-14. ) The "new" Northern Ireland team is introduced to the Elo ranking in 1923, with an initial points total higher than the FAI team inherits from the "old" IFA team: 1600 as opposed to 1522. The highest rank the IFA team subsequently attains, based on this, is 15th, in May 1986.("World Football Elo Ratings: Northern Ireland". Retrieved 2007-02-14. )
  2. ^ "Passport decision hits NI players". BBC Sport. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2008. "Fifa has ruled that Northern Ireland players must hold a British passport. Previously, it had been acceptable for players to have a British or Irish passport" 
  3. ^ "British Passport Rules". The News Letter. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2008. "FIFA last night laid down the law on passport eligibility. Anyone playing for Northern Ireland in a competitive match must hold a British passport – and not one from the Republic of their document to the IFA, stressed that the match commissioner who examines passports before every game, couldn't be expected to determine whether a player fulfils the requirements of the Good Friday Agreement." 
  4. ^ "FIFA overturn NI player passport ruling". Northern Ireland News ( 19 June 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2008. "In a statement the IFA said: "The Irish Football Association is pleased to announce that following regular and ongoing dialogue with FIFA a solution has been reached which will allow players holding an Irish Passport to continue to represent Northern Ireland. "This will negate the need in future for those with Irish Passports to require a British one for administrative purposes in order to represent Northern Ireland and to satisfy match commissioners." 
  5. ^ "Northern footballers to face tougher rules if they want to play for the Republic". 2 June 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008. "Footballers from Northern Ireland who want to play for the Republic will have to ... notch up two years playing south of the border without interruption or have close family members from the Republic." 
  6. ^ a b Stuart McKinley (19 November 2008). "Taylor is still true to Northern Ireland cause". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 5 December 2008. "the only man every to represent Northern Ireland who doesn’t have a blood relative born in the country...Born in Germany, Taylor’s British Passport allowed him to declare for Northern Ireland...Since then the rules have changed and no longer can simply holding a passport qualify a player to play for that country, without having a parent or grandparent born there or being resident for two years. That makes Taylor unique in terms of Northern Ireland football as no other man without a background in the country will ever pull on the green shirt" 
  7. ^ Irish Football Association (2009). Official Souvenir Programme: Northern Ireland vs Serbia. Belfast:Irish Football Association
  8. ^ BBC:Northern Ireland 0-1 Serbia
  9. ^ "Northern Ireland Senior Fixtures & Results (Official Website)". 
  10. ^ "BBC News Star helps in graffiti removal". 30 October 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Rewarded for uniting fans". 
  12. ^ "Lennon hails anti-sectarian drive". BBC News. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  14. ^ BBC SPORT | Football | Irish | IFA wants out of Windsor contract
  15. ^ "Lord's Hansard on the question of building an NI national stadium". 
  16. ^ "Tide Turns Against The Maze". 
  17. ^ Report slams Windsor Park safety BBC News
  18. ^ IFA wants out of Windsor contract BBC News
  19. ^ South Stand future under threat BBC News
  20. ^ Plans for £128m Belfast stadium unveiled - The Independent, 25/03/09
  21. ^ IFA 'backs Windsor as NI stadium' - BBC News, 07/09/09
  22. ^ Linfield FC has £20m stadium plan - BBC News, 12/06/09
  23. ^ "BBC news story on NI ticket sales". 5 April 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "UEFA news story on 2006 Brussels International Supporters Award". 
  26. ^ Beeb in World cup TV woe - International - Football - Sport - Belfast Telegraph

External links

Simple English

Northern Ireland
Association Irish Football Association
Confederation UEFA
Coach Nigel Worthington
Most caps Pat Jennings (119)
Top scorer David Healy (35)
World Cup
Appearances 3
First Apps 1958
Best result Quarterfinals (1958, 1982)

Northern Ireland national football team is the national football team of Northern Ireland.

Most appearances

1Pat Jennings11901964-1986
2Mal Donaghy9101980-1994
3Sammy McIlroy8851972-1987
4Keith Gillespie8321995-present
5Jimmy Nicholl7311976-1986
6Michael Hughes7151992-2004
6Maik Taylor7101999-present
8David McCreery6701976-1990
9David Healy66352000-present
9Nigel Worthington6601984-1997

Top scorers

1David Healy35662000-present
2Colin Clarke13381986-1993
2Billy Gillespie13251913-1932
4Gerry Armstrong12631977-1986
4Iain Dowie12591990-2000
4Jimmy Quinn12461985-1996
4Joe Bambrick12111928-1940
8Billy Bingham10561951-1964
8Jimmy McIlroy10551952-1966
8Peter McParland10341954-1962
8Johnny Crossan10241960-1968


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