Lives Remembered

Martin Harvey: Assistant to Billy Bingham during Northern Ireland's World Cup glory years

MARTIN Harvey was a talented Northern Ireland footballer who went on to be part of the team's great World Cup adventures as a coach.

The Belfast man won 34 caps and scored three goals in the green shirt during the 1960s after taking stepping into the huge boots of Danny Blanchflower.

Having started out with Boyland FC in Belfast, the club which would also produce George Best, Harvey spent his entire club career at Sunderland.

Making his debut aged 17, he went on to make 357 appearances as a tigerish wing-back before being forced to stop playing at the age of 30 with back and knee injuries.

His first coaching role was with the north-east club before spending seven months as manager of Carlisle United, and later coaching at Plymouth Argyle.

Harvey was invited along with Bertie Peacock to assist Billy Bingham at international level during the glory years when Northern Ireland qualified for both the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. He also had a spell alongside Bingham in Saudi Arabia.

He later worked alongside Northern Ireland legend Jimmy Nicholl at Raith Rovers, helping the club to two Scottish First Division titles and the first major trophy in their history, a penalty shoot-out victory over Celtic in the 1995 League Cup final.

The pair later spent a brief spell together at Millwall before Harvey settled in Plymouth on the south coast of England, where he enjoyed retirement playing golf and spending time with his wife Ruth, their three children and grandchildren.

Martin Harvey died on November 25.

Among many tributes, Sunderland AFC said he was a "class act for the club throughout the sixties and a class act off the pitch for his entire 78 years".

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access



Lives Remembered