The Saturday Style Guy

He is a Northern Ireland football hero, a sports commentator and business owner...he is the one and only Gerry Armstrong.
Debby and Gerry Armstrong.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.Debby and Gerry Armstrong.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Debby and Gerry Armstrong. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

June 25 is a date that forms a huge part of Northern Ireland footballing history thanks to Gerry’s sensational winner against host nation Spain in the Mestalla Stadium, Valencia at the 1982 World Cup.

Having only taken up football when he was banned from playing Gaelic football, Armstrong excelled at the game and was spotted by Tottenham and brought to London in November 1975 for £25,000.

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He was part of the squad that saw Spurs relegated to Division Two in 1977, but helped the club return to the First Division within a season.

Former Northern Ireland international Gerry Armstrong 
PHOTO STEPHEN HAMILTON/PACEMAKERFormer Northern Ireland international Gerry Armstrong 
Former Northern Ireland international Gerry Armstrong PHOTO STEPHEN HAMILTON/PACEMAKER

However, with the club changing personnel to keep them in the top flight, Gerry was a victim of new players coming in, leaving to join Watford in 1980.

He was a member of the side that got promoted in 1982 and was the player to score their first goal in the First Division, becoming a cult hero with the Hornets fans.

Gerry’s fame stretched as far as Spain and RCD Mallorca were impressed enough to sign him in 1983 for £250,000.

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Some opposition fans remembered his World Cup goal in 1982 against Spain in Valencia and gave him heaps of abuse, but Armstrong remained in Spain and worked hard at his game, becoming a popular figure at Mallorca and gaining a knowledge of the game in the country, which stood him in good stead in the future.

Gerry Armstrong with the golden boot he received as best British player at the 1982 World CupGerry Armstrong with the golden boot he received as best British player at the 1982 World Cup
Gerry Armstrong with the golden boot he received as best British player at the 1982 World Cup

When he moved to Brighton and Hove Albion on a free deal, Gerry took on coaching duties as well as playing after a loan spell at Millwall.

Armstrong then took on a player-coach role at non-league Crawley Town before leaving the Surrey club to start playing again for Glenavon followed by a spell with non-league clubs Bromley and Worthing.

He moved into the coaching set-up with Northern Ireland from 1994 as assistant manager under Bryan Hamilton and again, under Lawrie Sanchez in 2004 until 2006.

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When Gerry ended his association with football in a playing or coaching role, he took to adding expert opinion to the coverage of Spanish football on Sky Sports TV and presenting a European football radio show on TalkSport.

Gerry and Deborah ArmstrongGerry and Deborah Armstrong
Gerry and Deborah Armstrong

The 66-year old who now lives in Holywood gave an insight into the style secrets of a Northern Ireland footballing legend.

Tell us a little about yourself Gerry?

I am an ex footballer and I am a very proud husband to Deborah Armstrong and am a father to three beautiful girls and two older boys -Aishleen, Caitlin and Marianna and Ciaran and Brendan.

I am working on a few projects at the moment for my new company Xpro Management with regards movies and promotional work for concerts and entertainment.

Gerry Armstrong and his wife DeborahGerry Armstrong and his wife Deborah
Gerry Armstrong and his wife Deborah
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I am still heavily involved in football as much as I can be as a commentator as well keeping active daily. I like to do circuit workouts in my garden as well as go runs along the beach with dog Sol.

How would you describe your personal style?

Because I have been involved in Sky television and was on live TV every weekend my style consisted of smart office wear.

It was always a suit, shirt and tie and smart shoes. But now that I have gotten older and I am not working for Sky as much I can dress more smart casual - t-shirts and jeans or jumpers and shirts and trousers.

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

Probably from my wife Deborah. She has heavily influenced my wardrobe because she does my clothing shopping for me.

Gerry Armstrong at the National StadiumGerry Armstrong at the National Stadium
Gerry Armstrong at the National Stadium
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Funnily enough my friends knew when I was working for ESPN that I had met a woman (Deborah) back in the day as I was coming to work better dressed rather than in my usual wacky shirts.

What was the first item of clothing you ever bought for yourself?

As a teenager I loved Wrangler jeans and Ben Sherman shirts were my favourite. The first ever purchase I made for myself was in the early 70s when I bought myself a red and blue check Ben Sherman shirt and a dark blue pair of Wranglers.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought, clothing-wise?

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Probably my suits. I got tailored suits made for me as I had my own tailor in Singapore when I worked over there commentating on the football in the summer.

The most expensive suit I had made for me was about a thousand pounds which was a lot of money back then. I also have a few expensive Gucci and Hugo Boss suits and shirts.

Tell us about the oldest item in your wardrobe, or the thing you’ll never, ever throw out

My shirts from the World Cup go back from over 40 years ago. The shirts are priceless - they are very special and sentimental to me so I don’t think I’ll ever be selling or throwing them out.

What are your fashion pets?

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I hate baggy jeans and skinny jeans. I have noticed a lot of the younger generation, especially young millennial boys are now wearing ripped skinny jeans.

They just don’t look right to me, I really like my comfort and those jeans just look painful.

Jeans or chinos?

I like both. Jeans are good for casual wear but chinos are also very comfortable and stretchier I find.

I like to wear my chinos with jumpers and shirts for more smarter casual wear like business meetings with a few of my co workers and when I am out for dinner etc.

Who are your style heroes?

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In the 70s it was George Best without a doubt. More recently I would have to say David Beckham.

George set the standards and paved the way for the modern day footballer with his style and clothing and David Beckham, Ronaldo and the rest have all profited from it.

What fragrance do you wear?

I wear Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet Man. I love the fragrance and I have been using for the last 20 years. Issey Miyake is my alternative but Paco Rabanne is still the best for me.

Do you groom, and how do you look after yourself?

I don’t like to shave every day but I do shave regularly probably two or three times a week. Unless I am going to a business meeting or have something special organised then I would shave on the day. I also have my hair cut every six weeks by my wee stylist, my wife - she’s a top stylist might I say!

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

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I have dozens. But I do tend to rotate between two or three of my favourite pairs at the moment. I do love my Nike trainers and my Chelsea boots but I keep them for the winter time.

Trainers or shoes?

Trainers all day long. I would live in trainers they are definitely my go to.

In the last 30 years trainers are definitely the most worn pair of shoes that I would use frequently every day - Adidas and Nike would be the brands that I have most of my trainers and runners bought from.

Do you accessorise and if so with what?

I do accessorise. For work mostly with my ties and sets of cufflinks - they would be my main accessories that I would need on a daily basis. But at the moment as I’m working from home I just wear my Cartier Roadster watch and my wedding ring.

Where do you shop?

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My wife does the majority of my clothing shop. But when I have to do my own shopping I do tend to shop in the high street - Next and Zara would be my favourite but my wife loves to buy my clothing from TK Maxx and Massimo Dutti for the likes of my shirts and suits and trousers.

What’s your desert island item of clothing?

Probably a football shirt and a pair of shorts would be my items. I’d say the desert island would be warm so would definitely be bringing some light clothing.