Former Northern Ireland boss Billy Bingham has died aged 90

Former Northern Ireland boss Billy Bingham, who led his country to TWO World Cups and also managed Everton and Greece, dies aged 90

  • Billy Bingham guided Northern Ireland to the 1982 and 1986 World Cups
  • In 1982, Northern Ireland beat hosts Spain 1-0 in Valencia.
  • Bingham also had a playing career and represented Everton and Luton

Former Northern Ireland international and manager Billy Bingham has died aged 90, his family announced on Friday.

Bingham twice guided Northern Ireland to the World Cup final, first in 1982 when they beat Spain and then in 1986.

East Belfast-born Bingham, outside right, has been capped 56 times. He came through the Glentoran ranks before joining Sunderland in 1950 and having spells with Luton, Everton, which he also later managed, and Port Vale.

In a statement, Bingham’s son David said: “Dad was diagnosed with dementia in 2006 and I think it’s a tribute to his will that he has made it through another 16 years between that diagnosis and the moment. of his death.”

“He passed away peacefully last night at 10.30pm at a care home in Southport.

“We are very proud of everything our father has accomplished.”

Former Northern Ireland international and manager Billy Bingham has died aged 90. He led his team to two World Cups, in 1982 and 1986.

In 1982 Northern Ireland beat Spain 1-0 - here Bingham celebrates with goalscorer Gerry Armstrong just after the game

In 1982 Northern Ireland beat Spain 1-0 – here Bingham celebrates with goalscorer Gerry Armstrong just after the game

Bingham celebrates and acknowledges the crowd in Valencia after his team's win over Spain

Bingham celebrates and acknowledges the crowd in Valencia after his team’s win over Spain

Bingham had been part of the Northern Ireland squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 World Cup, only to lose to France.

It was Bingham’s goal that secured Luton’s 1959 FA Cup semi-final victory over Third Division Norwich to reach Wembley, where they lost to Nottingham Forest.

He won the 1962-63 Premier League title with Everton before moving into management, which included roles when he was also in charge of the Northern Ireland national team as well as a stint with Greece.

Bingham’s second stint as his country‘s manager began in 1980.

He then named future Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill as his captain, the first Catholic to have the honor bestowed on him during the Troubles, and received threatening letters as a result.

The 1980 British Championship success was Northern Ireland’s first in 66 years and was followed by a memorable World Cup campaign and a 1-0 win over Spain at the Mestalla in Valencia.

Bingham, did an MBE for football services in 1981, left the Northern Ireland post in 1993 and later worked as director of football at Blackpool.

The Irish Football Association paid tribute to Bingham.

‘Billy holds a unique place in the heart of Northern Ireland football in that he has both played in and captained the World Cup final tournaments with Northern Ireland, being part of the squad history of Peter Doherty in 1958 Sweden, then leading Northern Ireland in 1982 and 1986 Finals,” read a statement on the Irish FA website.

Although better known as a manager, Bingham played for Sunderland (pictured), Everton and Luton

Although better known as a manager, Bingham played for Sunderland (pictured), Everton and Luton

Bingham also coached Greece and Everton, among others, in his dugout career

Bingham also coached Greece and Everton, among others, in his dugout career

“Billy was a tricky winger back when such a position was revered, but there was more to him than playing off the wing. Billy wasn’t afraid to mix it up when needed, had an eye for goal, and had a wonderful tactical and positional brain – attributes that would stand out in his managerial career.

“He was everything a Northern Ireland manager should be: tactically astute, innovative and inspiring.

“He led the team to British Championship glory in 1980 and 1984, qualified for two World Cups in 1982 and 1986 and recorded the first home and away victories against Germany. West during the qualification for the Euros in 1984.

“His greatest achievement was probably the team’s qualification for the second phase of the World Cup in 1982 with the historic and unexpected victory over Spain in Valencia.

“The Association wishes to extend its condolences to Billy’s extended family circle.”

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