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Pat's joy for 'brilliant' NI

09 October 2015|Tottenham Hotspur

There wasn't a prouder man than Pat Jennings after Northern Ireland created football history last night.

Michael O'Neill's squad qualified for the European Championships for the first time in the country's history after beating Greece 3-1 at Windsor Park.

The victory secured a top two place and automatic qualification for the Euro 2016 Finals in France next summer.

It's the first time since Pat and the greats of the Irish game in the early 1980s famously took Northern Ireland to successive World Cups in 1982 and 1986.

Below: NI manager Michael O'Neill on the final whistle at Windsor Park last night


Speaking this morning (Friday, October 9), Pat was quick to point out that the class of 2015 have achieved something Billy Bingham's team of the 1980s couldn't manage - reaching the European finals.

"It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant," said Pat, who won 119 caps in a career spanning 1964-1986 and remains an ambassador for grassroots football in Northern Ireland.

"We reached two World Cups but we never qualified for the Euros. I tried for 22 years. We even beat West Germany twice in qualifying for 1984 but still didn't make it.

"It's fantastic for the team and Michael O'Neill has done a brilliant job. The players were outstanding against Greece especially considering the players we had out.

"I'm so delighted for the fans. They deserve it. It gives everyone in the country a boost and we've seen again how football can lift the nation. It's a fantastic achievement."