Pat Jennings to receive Uefa honour at Windsor Park

Pat Jennings and Billy Bingham
Pat Jennings pictured with former NI manager Billy Bingham

Pat Jennings, Northern Ireland's most capped player, is to be honoured by Uefa with a presentation at Northern Ireland's home game against Serbia.

Jennings, who won 119 caps, will receive a commemorative cap and medal during the half-time interval at Windsor Park on Friday night.

Uefa are making special awards to players who have made 100 apperances or more for their national team.

"Pat is one of football's greats," said Irish FA President Jim Shaw.

"He is a Northern Ireland legend, a true gentleman and a great ambassdor for Northern Ireland football," added Shaw.

Other international legends who are also being honoured include England's Peter Shilton and the late Bobby Moore, Scotland's Kenny Dalglish, Germany's Lothar Matthaus, Denmark's Peter Schmeichel and Portugal's Luis Figo.

Jennings made his full international debut for Northern Ireland, at the age of 18, against Wales in Swansea in April 1964.

At the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, when Northern Ireland defeated the host nation 1-0 in Valencia, Jennings kept the Spaniards at bay with an outstanding display of goalkeeping.

His performance at Wembley against England in 1985 is another that will live long in the memory when he once again produced astonishing reflex saves to earn Northern Ireland a goalless draw and the point they required to make it through to the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.

The tournament in Mexico was to be Jennings' swansong and it was fitting that his final game would be against the wonderfully talented Brazilians on his 41st birthday.

Billy Bingham's side may have lost that match 3-0, but the score was largely irrelevant as one of Northern Ireland greatest ever players brought the curtain down on a long and distinguished playing career.

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