June 25th, 1982. A night no Northern Irish football fan will ever forget. The Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain is the location. Northern Ireland are playing their final game of the first group stage of the World Cup Finals against the host nation. They need a win to progress to the second stage.
No one thinks the boys in green have a chance against one of the tournament favourites. But the second half is barely underway when Gerry Armstrong takes the ball in his own half and charges up the pitch, passing to Billy Hamilton on the wing. The Spanish goalkeeper can only parry his curving cross and Armstrong fires home.
Despite going down to ten men, Northern Ireland hold out for a famous victory and top their group. It is an extraordinary achievement. Only defeat by France in the next group stage prevents them reaching the semi-finals.
That night in Valencia has come to symbolise the ability of Northern Ireland’s sporting heroes to punch above their weight. Now, the scorer of that famous goal is hoping its iconic status will help to raise vital funds for the Northern Ireland Hospice in their work to help children with cancer.