Gerry Armstrong (footballer)
|Full name||Gerard Joseph Armstrong|
|Date of birth||23 May 1954|
|Place of birth||Fintona, Northern Ireland |
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|1970–1971||St Paul's Swifts|
|1985–1986||West Bromwich Albon||8||(0)|
|1986–1989||Brighton & Hove Albion||47||(6)|
|1987||→ Millwall (loan)||7||(0)|
|1994–1996||Northern Ireland Assistant|
|2004–2006||Northern Ireland Assistant|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He spent the majority of his career in England, as well as having a spell in Spain. He represented the Northern Ireland national football team and won acclaim at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, where he was the highest scoring player from the UK; this included a shock winner against hosts Spain. He currently works as a football analyst.
Armstrong, who supported English club Leeds United as a boy, began his career in Northern Ireland with St Paul's Swifts. He only started to play football as a teenager when serving a ban from Gaelic football, and feels that his late start in the game was a significant disadvantage.
In November 1975 Armstrong moved to England, signing with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £25,000. He made his Spurs debut in a 3–1 defeat at Ipswich Town on 21 August 1976, aged 22. He made a total of 84 league appearances for Spurs, scoring 10 goals.
In November 1980 he was signed by Second Division side Watford for £250,000. Watford were promoted to the First Division in the 1981–82 season, and Armstrong scored the club's first ever goal in the top flight.
Armstrong returned to England in August 1985, signing for West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer. In January 1986 he was loaned to Chesterfield, whom he joined permanently in March 1986 until the end of the season. On his debut, Armstrong scored for the Spireites in a 3-1 home defeat to Brentford. He signed for Brighton & Hove Albion on a free transfer in August 1986. In January 1987 he was loaned to Millwall.
By 1988 Armstrong had become a player-coach at Brighton, but left the club after an altercation with a fan. In February 1989 he took up the same position at Crawley Town, before leaving in March 1990 after another confrontation with a fan. He joined Glenavon as a player the same month, and by April 1990 he was also playing midweek games for Bromley.
Six years later, Armstrong was selected for the Northern Ireland squad for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. After a 0–0 draw in their opening match against Yugoslavia, Armstrong scored the opening goal in the 1–1 draw against Honduras. With Northern Ireland requiring a win to progress to the next stage, Armstrong scored a 47th-minute goal against hosts Spain in Valencia. Northern Ireland even had Mal Donaghy sent off, but held on to win 1–0.
In the next stage, also a group round, Northern Ireland drew 2-2 with Austria, with Armstrong scoring in the subsequent 4–1 loss to France.
Armstrong made a total of six appearances for Northern Ireland in the World Cup.
Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first.
In November 1991 Armstrong was appointed manager of non-league club Worthing, leading them to promotion in 1993. In 1994 he became assistant manager of the Northern Ireland national team, under his former national team-mate Bryan Hamilton. In 1995 he left Worthing, and in March 1996 he has been appointed a Surrey FA youth coach.
In 2004 he reprised his role as Northern Ireland assistant manager under Lawrie Sanchez. He left the position in August 2006 to concentrate on other commitments, as it was revealed that he and his wife Debby were expecting a child.
Armstrong had combined his coaching positions with employment in football journalism - in television, in radio and in print. He works as a co-commentator for Sky Sports' coverage of La Liga and also works as an analyst for the Premier League coverage of ESPN Star Sports.
He used to work on talkSPORT radio presenting their show that looked at European Football on Monday night with Gab Marcotti but Armstrong has since left the station. He is an outspoken critic of the amount of diving in the modern game.
- British Home Championship winners: 1980, 1984
- Brodie, Michael (9 July 2010). "Down Memory Lane: Armstrong's goal against Spain is the one we all Related to deny donnellyremember". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Gerry Armstrong". Neil Brown. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
- "82 World Cup Live Chat". BBC NI interview. Retrieved 2 July 2006.
- Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. Surrey: T.G Jones. p. 25. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1.
- "World Cup hero highlights importance of youth coaching". Retrieved 1 December 2007.[dead link]
- "Gerry Armstrong: Tottenham Hotspur FC". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "You asked... Gerry Armstrong". BBC NI Sport interview. Archived from the original on 16 January 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2006.
- "Which players have attacked fans?". 23 September 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- "Gerry ARMSTRONG". World Football: Statistics. FIFA. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Armstrong steps down from NI role". bbc.co.uk. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2006.
- Top-flight Football Shows for Every Fan, Every Day on ESPN STAR Sports.
- "Exclusive Interview: Gerry Armstrong - "Spurs are not good enough to finish in the top eight"". Square Football interview. Retrieved 2 July 2006.
- Catch World Cup highlights on The Straits Times' microsite