Northern Ireland’s greatest manager, the man everyone who has been in charge of the country since his retirement in 1993, has tried desperately to emulate, last night joined Northern Ireland Football’s Hall of Fame.

Billy Bingham’s remarkable achievements in leading Northern Ireland to back-to-back World Cup finals in the 1980s as well as the 10 goals he scored during a 56-cap career in the green shirt — which included five appearances at the 1958 World Cup — were formally recognised at a gala dinner in Belfast’s Europa Hotel.

The biggest moment of Bingham’s career came in 1982 when thanks to Gerry Armstrong’s goal, Northern Ireland beat host nation Spain to make the second phase of the World Cup.

He also masterminded memorable wins away to West Germany and Romania after that, as well as guiding the country to the British Championship title in 1980 and then again in 1984 — the last time the trophy was played for.

And in his last game as Northern Ireland boss, Bingham was oh-so-close to stopping the Republic of Ireland going to the 1994 World Cup in the USA, when Jack Charlton’s side needed an equaliser from Alan McLaughlin to go through after Jimmy Quinn’s opener.

There has never been a World Cup with Northern Ireland involved that Bingham (pictured) hasn’t been part of, although the 78-year-old would love that to change, with his protege Nigel Worthington in charge.

It was 50 years earlier that Bingham started out at Glentoran, then moving to Sunderland where he spent eight years of his career. Spells at Luton Town, Everton and Port Vale then followed before he dipped his toe in the troubled waters of management.

He’d taken little Southport — who were then a Football League club — from Division Four to Divison Three before taking charge of Northern Ireland for the first time in 1967.

He continued in the role while managing Plymouth Argyle and after leaving there, took over at Linfield where he won the Irish League title and an All-Ireland Cup.

A spell in charge of the Greek national team was followed by a return to Everton, where he finished fourth in the old First Division in 1975 .

After leaving Goodison, he returned to Greece with PAOK Salonika before joining Mansfield Town followed by a second and more glorious stint as Northern Ireland manager from 1980 to 1993. His place in the Hall of Fame is — like Northern Ireland football history — is secure forever.

Read the article on Belfast Telegraph

Bingham’s football fame deservedly honoured

Northern Ireland’s greatest manager, the man everyone who has been in charge of the country since his retirement in 1993, has tried desperately to emulate, last night joined Northern Ireland Football’s Hall of Fame.

Billy Bingham’s remarkable achievements in leading Northern Ireland to back-to-back World Cup finals in the 1980s as well as the 10 goals he scored during a 56-cap career in the green shirt — which included five appearances at the 1958 World Cup — were formally recognised at a gala dinner in Belfast’s Europa Hotel.

The biggest moment of Bingham’s career came in 1982 when thanks to Gerry Armstrong’s goal, Northern Ireland beat host nation Spain to make the second phase of the World Cup.

He also masterminded memorable wins away to West Germany and Romania after that, as well as guiding the country to the British Championship title in 1980 and then again in 1984 — the last time the trophy was played for.

And in his last game as Northern Ireland boss, Bingham was oh-so-close to stopping the Republic of Ireland going to the 1994 World Cup in the USA, when Jack Charlton’s side needed an equaliser from Alan McLaughlin to go through after Jimmy Quinn’s opener.

There has never been a World Cup with Northern Ireland involved that Bingham (pictured) hasn’t been part of, although the 78-year-old would love that to change, with his protege Nigel Worthington in charge.

It was 50 years earlier that Bingham started out at Glentoran, then moving to Sunderland where he spent eight years of his career. Spells at Luton Town, Everton and Port Vale then followed before he dipped his toe in the troubled waters of management.

He’d taken little Southport — who were then a Football League club — from Division Four to Divison Three before taking charge of Northern Ireland for the first time in 1967.

He continued in the role while managing Plymouth Argyle and after leaving there, took over at Linfield where he won the Irish League title and an All-Ireland Cup.

A spell in charge of the Greek national team was followed by a return to Everton, where he finished fourth in the old First Division in 1975 .

After leaving Goodison, he returned to Greece with PAOK Salonika before joining Mansfield Town followed by a second and more glorious stint as Northern Ireland manager from 1980 to 1993. His place in the Hall of Fame is — like Northern Ireland football history — is secure forever.

Read the article on Belfast Telegraph

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