Today marks the 30th anniversary of the encounter when 10,000 partisan home fans packed into the Cross to see two very decent 11s in action when everyone on show would have been extremely keen to put themselves in the shop window for Jack Charlton and Bobby Robson’s World Cup squads for that summer’s sojourn to the Mediterranean.
They had future England regulars David Batty and Carlton Palmer in midfield, alongside the incredibly talented Man City star Paul Lake, who would have his career cut short due to devastating injuries, while they had attacking talent like Matt Le Tissier (below), Nigel Clough, Andy Sinton and Dalian Atkinson on show.
Some of them did not quite work out though. Mike Milligan’s move from Oldham to Everton was not a success, and neither was Alan McLoughlin’s switch from Swindon to Southampton, although he would have his moment in Windsor Park three years later.
Indeed, he would be home again, across the road in Musgrave Park, making one of his first appearances for his new club when they played Cork City in a pre-season friendly that was arranged as part of the transfer of central defender Brian Carey to United the year before.
Kelly was soon making a brilliant stop to deny Atkinson a second, although at the other end his namesake David Kelly could well have had two goals of his own, but couldn’t hit the target.
It is definitely worth digging out.
IRELAND B: Gary Kelly, Denis Irwin (Terry Phelan), Jim Beglin, Derek Brazil, Pat Scully, Alan McLoughlin (Kenneth de Mange), Brian Mooney, Mike Milligan (Gary Waddock), Niall Quinn, David Kelly (Owen Coyle), Mark Kelly.