WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Northern Ireland’s 1986 World Cup squad

Legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings
Legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings

Northern Ireland’s last game at a major international tournament was a 3-0 defeat against Brazil in Guadalajara in the final group fixture of the 1986 World Cup.

Here, News Letter Sport looks at what became of the 13 players used by manager Billy Bingham that day.

PAT JENNINGS

Retired after the tournament but remains Northern Ireland’s record cap holder with 119 appearances. Went on to work as a goalkeeping coach for Northern Ireland and Tottenham.

JIMMY NICHOLL

Twice overlooked by the Irish FA when favourite to be named manager - losing out to Bryan Hamilton and Lawrie Sanchez. Having previously worked as assistant to Billy Bingham, he returned as Michael O’Neill’s number two in March.

MAL DONAGHY

Played another eight years of international football and retired with 91 caps – an outfield record until David Healy, then Aaron Hughes, overtook him. Currently works with the IFA’s disability football programme.

JOHN O’NEILL

Suffered a career-ending injury at the hands of John Fashanu during his debut for Norwich in 1987. Went on to become a radio commentator and still broadcasts for BBC Ulster on Northern Ireland internationals.

ALAN McDONALD

Went on to become assistant manager of the national side and Swindon, as well as taking charge of Belfast club Glentoran. Died at just 48 in June 2012.

DAVID CAMPBELL

Made his debut as a wide-eyed 21-year-old against Brazil but won just nine more caps. Was a driving force behind Shooting for Socrates - a feature film set against the backdrop of the ‘86 World Cup that was released this year.

DAVID McCREERY

Managed Carlisle and Hartlepool before working as a scout for several years. Moved further afield with stints at Magway in Burma and Sabah in Malaysia.

SAMMY McILROY

As captain at the tournament, McIlroy was something of an inevitable appointment as manager in 2000. He lasted almost four years in the role before leaving for Stockport, with his unhappy reign including a 1,242-minute goal drought. Not seen in management since leaving Morecambe in 2011.

NORMAN WHITESIDE

Forced into retirement at just 26 due to persistent knee problems. Retrained and worked as a podiatrist as well as taking on corporate hospitality roles with former club Manchester United.

IAN STEWART

Played the majority of his post-World Cup football for Aldershot and retired in 1993. Now works as a grassroots development officer at the IFA.

COLIN CLARKE

Northern Ireland’s joint top-scorer with 13 at the time of his retirement, though subsequently overtaken by David Healy and Kyle Lafferty. Has spent the past 17 years coaching in America, and currently manages Carolina Seahawks.

BILLY HAMILTON

Played and managed Irish League club Distillery before opening a trophy and engraving shop in Bangor, County Down.

GERRY ARMSTRONG

Dabbled briefly in management at Worthing, and worked as assistant national boss to Bryan Hamilton and Lawrie Sanchez. Became an IFA elite player mentor in 2011, best known for his media work.