WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: Magennis’ tribute to support from legends and fans

Josh Magennis during Northern Ireland's 4-0 defeat of San Marino at Windsor Park. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Josh Magennis during Northern Ireland's 4-0 defeat of San Marino at Windsor Park. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

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Josh Magennis holds a place as one of the most popular players within the Northern Ireland fanbase - but the big striker was happy to admit he took a back seat when compared to the Lap of the Legends pre-match parade.

Stars such as Carl Frampton, James Nesbitt and Gary Lightbody helped mark the official opening of the National Stadium at Windsor Park in front of a vocal 18,234 crowd.

And Magennis served up a special tribute to the famous faces on the pitch - and Green and White Army in the stands - for support on a night Northern Ireland secured a 4-0 victory over San Marino.

“It was mad just hearing the names and music before in the warm-up, it made the hairs stand up,” said Magennis, who started as target man in the Northern Ireland attack. “To be honest, seeing so many famous people up close was absolutely brilliant, even if I didn’t have time for the autograph book!

“Some people may say it was a distraction but for us it was an absolute motivation, the size of country that we are we need to support everything about Northern Ireland.

“It was fantastic to be able to do that on a night like tonight and it was fantastic to see everyone, put on a performance and come away with a win.

“The fans pay well-earned money to watch and expect to be entertained but it’s up to us to do everything in our power to do that and we managed to deliver four goals.”