Today's Billy Bingham Talking Points
William Laurence Bingham, MBE (born 5 August 1931) is a former Northern Ireland international footballer and football manager, who now works as a scout for English Championship side Burnley.
As a player, his first professional club was Glentoran, whom he played for between 1948 and 1950. Making the move to England, he then spent eight years with Sunderland, making 227 appearances. In 1958 he switched to Luton Town, making close to 100 league appearances in a three-year spell. This was followed by a two-year association with Everton, where he again went close to 100 league appearances. He finished his career after breaking his leg in a match for Port Vale in 1964, at the age of 33. He had scored 133 goals in 525 appearances in all domestic competitions. Between 1951 and 1963, he won 56 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring 10 international goals, and played at the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
His management career would be as notable as his playing career. After taking charge at Southport in 1965, he was appointed manager of Northern Ireland two years later, after taking the "Sandgrounders" to promotion out of the Fourth Division. During his time as an international manager he also took charge at Plymouth Argyle, and later Linfield. He led Linfield to a quadruple in 1970–71, his only season in charge. In 1971, he was appointed as the head coach of the Greece national side. Two years later he returned to the domestic game with Everton of England. He returned to Greece for a brief spell in 1977, taking the reins at PAOK Salonika. The following year he went back to England to take charge of Mansfield Town for one full season. In 1980 he was re-appointed as Northern Ireland manager, his final position, and a post he would hold for the next thirteen years. He led his nation to the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 1982 and 1986.Close