Billy Bingham

Northern Ireland football manager who qualified twice for the World Cup finals

Born in Belfast on August 5, 1931, Billy Bingham’s football prowess was apparent from his early years as a pupil at Elmgrove Primary School on the Beersbridge Road, in the east of the city. He began his career as a teenager with his local club Glentoran, but transferred to the English league side Sunderland in 1950. Bingham went on to play 419 English league matches for a variety of clubs, most notably Everton, with whom he won a League Championship in 1963.
Between the years 1951 and 1964, Billy Bingham also played 56 times for Northern Ireland, scoring 10 goals. He was also a member of the side that reached the 1958 World Cup quarter final. Bingham went on to manage a variety of teams, but it was as manager of the Northern Ireland side in the 1980s that he was most successful. Under his guidance, the team reached the World Cup finals in 1982 and 1986—an incredible achievement for a country with a small population and limited footballing resources.
Bingham took charge of Northern Ireland for 118 games in all. He retired in 1993 and now lives in Southport, England.