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 - ...

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