Jonny Evans reached 98 caps in his last international game for Northern Ireland. He is on a special path to become one of the real major men for country as he looks certain to reach 100. Steven Davis (134), Pat Jennings (119) and Aaron Hughes (112) are the only three in front of him as he soon moves into the special category.
Looking back in time we do find interesting data on players and managers to have come and gone at Leicester with a special Northern Ireland background.
Martin O’Neill comes to mind as he had a glorious time with Leicester as a manager being in charge of football affairs at the football club from 1995 to 2000. Previously a grand career at neighbour Nottingham Forest and also being involved in World Cup action for his country. MON added up 64 caps from his debut as a teenager in 1971 until his last game played in 1984.
Paul Ramsey and John O’Neill both moved to Leicester at an early age and made their trade for Northern Ireland and played with MON as the duo reached international level being influential at Leicester at the same time. John O’Neill was once the record holder of most full internationals as a Leicester player adding up 39 caps and scoring 2 goals as well as being involved at the 1982 and 1986 World Cup’s in Spain and Mexico. Ramsey added up 14 caps on his journey also being a World Cup squad member in 1986.
Going a bit back we do find Willie Cunningham and Derek Dougan as they both played for Northern Ireland during their time with Leicester, the two being in the 1958 World Cup squad. Cunningham was at Leicester, Dougan joined later after playing for Portsmouth, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Peterborough before making his move to Filbert Street in 1965. Cunningham reached 30 caps, Dougan landed on 43.
Gerry Taggart (51 caps) and Neil Lennon (40 caps) were the two of the great Leicester teams of the 90’s to represent Northern Ireland as Leicester players. Keith Gillespie made a number of appearances for Northern Ireland in his days at the football club. Gillespie played at full international level for fourteen years making his debut as a young Manchester United talent at the age of 19. He did add up 86 caps, playing together with Jonny Evans in his early years in the full set-up.
Jonny Evans is currently waving the flag for Northern Ireland at Leicester. He has captained his country and seen as a pivotal in the team of Ian Baraclough. The Leicester born manager and former player is trying to follow in the footsteps of Michael O’Neill who had a grand period in charge of Northern Ireland as they reached the Euro’s in 2016.
Leicester long servant Steve Beaglehole has also been involved for N Ireland as a coach of development. Alan Fettis, Billy Kee, Gareth McAuley, Tim McCann, Ryan McGivern and Bryan Hamilton are other names that occur with a relation to Northern Ireland as they either played, had a manager or coaching role at Leicester.
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