Frampton revelling in Northern Ireland qualification

Carl Frampton at Windsor Park on Thursday night
Carl Frampton at Windsor Park on Thursday night

Carl Frampton was on hand to wish Northern Ireland well as they continued punching above their weight to book a place at Euro 2016.

Frampton, the IBF super bantamweight champion, is friends with Leeds winger Stuart Dallas and was at Windsor Park to watch Michael O’Neill’s side seal a famous 3-1 win in Belfast.

He spent the match sitting next to golfing hero Rory McIlroy, but arrived early to wish the players luck.

“Those lads are all heroes.I went in before the game and shook a few hands, I know a few of them personally and I’m good friends with Stuart.

“The boys seemed in good spirits. Michael has got the team playing better football than any Northern Ireland team I’ve ever seen.”

Frampton was not born when Billy Bingham took the country to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and although the outcome was a good one, he confessed to a nervy night beforehand.

“Northern Ireland were last at a tournament in 1986 and I was born in 87, it’s the first tournament of my lifetime and a first ever European Championship. It’s going to be huge,” he said.