Retro Football: 1986 World Cup Panini Album Shows How Northern Ireland Shaped Up Last Time They Reached A Major Tournament (Photos)

Chris Wright

9th, October 2015



Last night, the Northern Ireland vintage of 2015 achieved the improbable by securing themselves a berth at Euro 2016 with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Greece at Windsor Park.

Before then, it’d been nigh-on three decades since the Northern Ireland national side had last appeared at a big tournament – namely, the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Thanks to Panini sticker album records, we can see just how the brave Norn Iron lads shaped up the last time they graced the major international stage…


Zoom in, enhance…



Photos: Darren Keighley/Twitter

Handsome brutes, the lot of ’em. Turns out iffy moustaches were big in ’86.

As for the World Cup itself, alas there was to be no repeat of 1982’s heroics. Northern Ireland drew their opening group game 1-1 with Algeria before losing the subsequent two against Spain and Brazil, thus toppling out of the competition at the first hurdle.

Still, the Brazil game turned out to be something of a classic – and that Josimar goal? Fuggedaboutit.

Posted in Euro 2016, Featured, International football, Newsnow, Photos, Retro

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  1. SG says:

    I still have my ’86 album, with just Hungary’s Tibor Nyilasi missing. Couldn’t be bothered to ever pay to get it from Panini and complete the album!

  2. chris says:

    that was my first sports panini album. i jumped hoops when i got the silver Pique badge and Norman Whiteside in a single ‘swaps’ session..

    need it need it need it
    got it got it got it need

  3. Jarren says:

    Even back then we were playing against Finland & Romania!

    What is it with the seeding, same thing with England & San Marino…

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