Does it get any more difficult? Unfortunately there is only one right midfield berth on the team so there will be a few Northern Ireland legend’s missing out!!
Please take the time to click each player’s respective name and read in detail their career history before placing your vote.
Poll Closes 05th February 2016 at 20:00
Born: 18 February 1975, Larne
Height: 5.10 st
Weight: 11.03 ft
Position: Right-Winger / Forward / Right-Back
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 86 Full Caps / 2 goals (1994-2008), 1 Under-21 Cap (1994), 4 Under-18 Caps/2 Goals, 2 Under-16 Caps/1 Goal, 6 Under-15 Caps/2 Goals.
Club Honours: (with Man. United) FA Youth Cup Winner 1991/92, Runner-Up 1992/93; (with Blackburn) Football League Cup Winner 2001/02; Football League Division One Runner-Up 2000/01 (promoted); (with Sheffield United) Football League Championship Runner-Up 2005/06 (promoted); (with Glentoran) Irish League Cup Winner 2009/10.
Awards: Milk Cup Under-16 Player of the Tournament 1991.
Written-off several times during his career, Keith Gillespie’s ability to bounce-back from set-backs earned him great credit, indeed it would be a brave man who would say to his face that his career is on the “wind down”…
Born: 5 August 1931, Belfast
Height: 5.07 ft
Weight: 10.02 st
Position: Outside-Right / Left
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 56 Full Caps / 9 Goals (1951-1963); 9 Youth Caps (1948-1949); 4 Schoolboy Caps (including War-Time) (1945-1947). Irish League: 2 Caps (1950).
Club Honours: (with Glentoran) Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1949/50; Gold Cup Runner-Up 1950/51; (with Luton Town) FA Cup Runner-Up 1958/59; (with Everton) Football League Champion 1962/63.
Nobody has been involved in more successes with Northern Ireland than Billy Bingham, World Cup appearances and British Championship successes as both player and manager are testament to this…
Name: Niall McGinn
Born: 20 July 1987, Donaghmore
Height: 5.08 ft (1.73m)
Weight: 11.08 st (73kg)
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: Full, 1 B Cap (2009), 1 Under-23 Cap (2007).
Club Honours: (with Derry) Football League of Ireland Cup Winner 2008; (with Aberdeen) Scottish League Cup Winner 2013/14.
Awards: PFAI Young Player of the Year 2008
Niall McGinn’s good form, primarily on the right-wing, saw him included in the Northern Ireland squad for an international friendly against Hungary in November 2008. McGinn was thus the first Derry player to earn a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad since Liam Coyle in 1989.
Born: 18 November 1956, Dundonald
Died: 6 May 1995, Blackburn (England)
Height: 5.09 ft
Weight: 10.08 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 27 Full Caps / 3 Goals (1980-1985), 1 Under-21 Cap (1978), Youth Caps, 3 School Caps (1972).
Club Honours: (with Tottenham) FA Youth Cup Winner 1973/74; (with Blackburn) Football League Division Three Runner-Up 1979/80.
A star of Northern Ireland’s earliest successes of the 1980s, Noel Brotherston’s career never quite hit the heights that were expected…
Born: 23 January 1953, Killyleagh
Height: 5.07½ ft
Weight: 10.09 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 26 Full Caps/1 Goal (1975-1984).
Club Honours: (with Coleraine) Irish Cup Winner 1974/75; Gold Cup Winner 1975/76; Ulster Cup Winner1975/76; (with Billingham) Northern League Champion 1988/89.
One of the many youngsters to be talked of as “the next George Best”, Terry Cochrane inevitably failed to live up to the early hype, but did make a telling contribution to Northern Ireland’s footballing history…
Born: 29 November 1954, Belfast
Height: 5.09 ft
Weight: 10.11 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 21 Full Caps / 4 Goals (1974-1979), 2 Schoolboy Caps (1970).
Club Honours: (with Spurs) UEFA Cup Runner-Up 1973/74.
When the teenage Chris McGrath burst onto the scene with Spurs in the 1973/74 seasons bright things were predicted for him. He made his League debut in a 2-0 win over north-London rivals Arsenal in October 1973, and by the end of the season had played 25 League games, scoring five goals. More impressive was his form in Europe as he scored five times in just eight appearances as Spurs reached the UEFA Cup Final only to lose out to Feyenoord 4-2 on aggregate.
Born: 21 December 1946, Belfast
Height: 5.08 ft
Weight: 10.04 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 50 Full Caps/4 Goals (1968-1980); 2 Under-23 Caps (1968-1969); Irish League: 3 Caps (1968-1970).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1968/69, 1970/71; Irish Cup Winner 1969/70; (with Ipswich) Texaco Cup Winner 1972/73; (with Everton) Football League Cup Runner-Up 1976/77.
Awards: Ulster Footballer of the Year 1971; NI Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year 1971.
Bryan Hamilton began his footballing career with Distillery, making his debut as a seventeen year-old early in the 1964/65 season. His return of 26 goals in 49 games persuaded Linfield to offer him a professional contract in June 1966, and at Windsor Park he was to develop into one of the Irish League’s most feared forwards.
Born: 8 June 1936, Belfast
Height: 5.04½ ft
Weight: 10.02 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 14 Full Caps/1 Goal (1962-1965), 3 Amateur Caps (1956-1957); Irish FA Representative (1959); Irish League: 12 Caps (1957-1974).
Club Honours: (with Ards) Irish League Champion 1957/58; Irish Cup Winner 1968/69, 1973/74, Runner-Up 1959/60; Gold Cup Winner 1973/74; Ulster Cup Winner 1973/74; Blaxnit “All-Ireland” Cup Winner 1974; (with Coventry) Football League Division Three Champion 1963/64; (with Swansea) Welsh Cup Winner 1965/66.
Awards: Ulster Footballer of the Year 1970, 1972; NI Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year 1972; Ards Player of the Year 1969/70, 1971/72.
A diminutive but nippy winger, Billy Humphries was a talented all-round sportsman who also excelled as a scrum half at rugby…
Born: 16 March 1870, Belfast
Died: 19 May 1946, Toronto (Canada)
Representative Honours: Ireland 11 Full Caps/4 Goals (1888-1894), 1 Unofficial Cap/1 Goal (1891); Irish League: 1 Cap (1894).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1890/91, 1891/92, 1892/93; Irish Cup Winner 1890/91, 1891/92, Runner-Up 1893/94.
William Dalton was with YMCA when he made his Ireland debut at the age of just 18 years and 8 days. 24 minutes into the match with Scotland he scored to make it 2-4 before the Scots really kicked into gear and finish 10-2 victors. That goal leaves Dalton fourth on the all-time list of (Northern) Ireland’s youngest goalscorers.
Born: 18 April 1961, Banbury (England)
Height: 5.07 ft
Weight: 10.07 st
Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 42 Full Caps / 6 Goals (1987-1995).
Club Honours: (with Chelsea) Football League Division Two Champion 1988/89; Football League Full Members’ Cup Winner 1989/90; (with Notts Co.) Anglo-Italian Cup Runner-Up 1993/94; (with Walsall) Football League Division Three Champion 1994/95.
Eligible for Northern Ireland through his Dungannon-born mother, Kevin Wilson was one of a number of Anglos given their chance by Billy Bingham in the immediate post-Mexico ’86 era, and undoubtedly the most successful.