50 years since Best and Jennings debuts

Published Tuesday, 15 April 2014
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Fifty years ago to the day, Northern Ireland football legends George Best and Pat Jennings were just starting out on their international careers - making their debuts in the same game.

50 years since Best and Jennings debuts
George Best and Pat Jennings both went on to become NI legends. (© Getty)

Belfast boy Best was 17 and playing for Manchester United when he got his first call up to the Northern Ireland first team, while Newry's Jennings was 18 and playing for Watford at the time.

They debuted in a British Home Championship match against Wales in Swansea on 15 April 1964, which Northern Ireland won 3-2.

A crowd of 10,343 turned out, unaware that they were watching a little bit of football history unfold.

Best went on to score nine goals for Northern Ireland in 37 appearances.

Goalkeeper Jennings continued his international career for over 22 years, earning 119 caps - a world record at the time and still a Northern Ireland record.

He played his final international game against Brazil in the World Cup on his 41st birthday in 1986.

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Adrian in Coleraine wrote (105 days ago):
True legends !
Joe in Co Down wrote (106 days ago):
Two Irish greats would have made into any team.
Supporter in Belfast wrote (106 days ago):
If he was the team he never played in any world cup finals, who where in the team when he and Big Pat made their debuts, does anyone know?
Allan in Belfast wrote (106 days ago):
George was the team!!
Supporter in Belfast wrote (107 days ago):
What was the team ?
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