These amazing old photographs from the archives of the ‘Derry Journal’ - some of them never seen before - are sure to rekindle memories of one of the finest moments in the proud history of Derry City FC. Sean McLaughlin reports.
The evocative black-and-white images relive that magical month of April 1964 when the city’s footballing heroes travelled to Belfast’s Windsor Park - the home of Northern Ireland football - where they took on and triumphed over the might of Glentoran.
Thousands of City fans travelled to support the Candystripes and, though they watched what many reports describe as a largely forgettable football match, they’ll recall forever at least the last few minutes of the game.
With the tie heading toward a replay, Derry slotted home twice in the final two minutes. First, Joey Wilson found some space to feed the ball to the legendary Fay Coyle. Coyle then played a return ball over the top of the oncoming Glens defence to play Wilson into space.
Rounding the keeper, Wilson beat both Finlay’s attempted save and the raised flag of a linesman - there was no such thing as assistant referees in those days.
Things got even better for the already jubilant Derry supporters, at least for those who hadn’t left early believing the game would end scoreless! Matt Doherty turned on the style in the final minute to beat two defenders after Fay Coyle had found him with a long ball. With Finlay stranded between Doherty’s approach and that of the other City forwards, he could do nothing as Matt finished in style and the Cup was on its way to Foyleside.
It’s a game recalled by, among others, the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who remembers travelling to Belfast for the tie.
A few years ago, the Sinn Fein politician recalled: “I remember vividly as a 15-year-old, in 1964, seeing Derry play Glentoran in the Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park in Belfast.
“Glentoran were one of the two big Belfast teams, along with Linfield. Any rural team playing them was up against the odds. So Derry winning 2-0 was an incredible achievement, like Bradford beating Manchester United in the FA Cup final. I went with my father on a train packed with Derry fans. He was always a very calm person, but that Cup Final was the only time I saw him get excited in his life. I remember when Derry scored he threw his hat into the air. I was as amazed by his reaction as the fact that Derry had scored.”