16 July 2017

101 Players Who Broke The Kop - Northern Ireland's Greatest Players 1936-2017



Between now and the end of the year, the NIFG Twitter feed will be publishing a regular feature on the greatest Northern Ireland players of the last 81 years, the 101 players most responsible for the Kop Stand shaking itself apart back in 2015!

Selection for the list itself will of course throw up plenty of controversies. In selecting the players, a balance of talent and skill, on field impact across a career or in a brief moment and loyalty to the famous green shirt have been considered. These are all very subjective measures and will no doubt lead to plenty of discussion - keep it polite please!

Of course this list could have been widened out to include all players that have taken the field to represent (Northern) Ireland since 1882, but the year 1936 has been selected as since then Windsor Park has been the exclusive "National Stadium for Northern Ireland" (aside from the brief period in the 1970s when "home" games were played in England and Scotland).

In selecting this date many giants of the game have been excluded - players such as Bill McCracken, John Peden, Olphie Stanfield, Micky Hamill and Elisha Scott - but it was considered that to include another five decades of talent would make the list too unwieldy... and that is the first decision of many which will no doubt leave many furrowing their brows!

101 - Will Grigg
100 - Andy Smith
99 - Billy McCullough
98 - George O'Boyle
97 - Con Martin
96 - Warren Feeney
95 - Shane Ferguson
94 - Josh Magennis
93 - Stephen Craigan
92 - Norman Uprichard
91 - Billy Cook
90 - Anton Rogan
89 - John O'Neill
88 - Billy Humphries
87 - Tommy Cassidy
86 - John Parke
85 - Willie Cunningham
84 - Martin Paterson
83 - James Quinn
82 - Jim Platt
81 - Michael O'Neill
80 - John McClelland
79 - Jeff Whitley
78 - Tommy Casey
77 - Noel Brotherston
76 - David Craig
75 - Jamie Ward
74 - Alex Stevenson
73 - Kingsley Black
72 - Sammy Clingan
71 - Danny Griffin
70 - Stuart Elliott
69 - Jackie Carey
68 - Pat McCourt
67 - Billy Simpson
66 - Billy McAdams
65 - Alex Elder
64 - Willie Irvine
63 - Sammy Nelson
62 - Dick Keith
61 - Damien Johnson
60 - Allan Hunter
59 - Bertie Fulton
58 - Dave Clements
57 - Kevin Wilson
56 - Jimmy Quinn
55 - Chris Brunt
54 - Neil Lennon
53 - Jimmy Nicholson
52 - Steve Lomas
51 - Michael McGovern
50 - Terry Cochrane
49 - Pat Rice
48 - Niall McGinn
47 - Ian Stewart
46 - Wilbur Cush
45 - Roy Carroll
44 - Alf McMichael
43 - Jim Magilton
42 - Billy Hamilton
41 - Chris Baird
40 - Tommy Wright
39 - Charlie Tully
38 - Chris Nicholl
37 - Iain Dowie
36 - Jackie Blanchflower
35 - Nigel Worthington
34 - Jackie Vernon
33 - Terry Neill
32 - Bryan Hamilton
31 - Dave McCreery
30 - Jonny Evans
29 - John Crossan
28 - Bertie Peacock
27 - Gerry Taggart
26 - Derek Dougan
25 - Colin Clarke
24 - Maik Taylor
23 - Jimmy Nicholl
22 - Gareth McAuley
21 - Mal Donaghy
20 - Keith Gillespie
19 - Aaron Hughes
18 - Kyle Lafferty
17 - Jimmy McIlroy
16 - Michael Hughes
15 - Alan McDonald
14 - Norman Whiteside
13 - Sammy McIlroy
12 - Peter McParland
11 - Joe Bambrick
10 - Gerry Armstrong
9 - Peter Doherty
8 - Harry Gregg
7 - Billy Bingham
6 - George Best
5 - Martin O'Neill
4 - Steven Davis
3 - David Healy
2 - Pat Jennings
1 - Danny Blanchflower

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