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The story behind great Irish sports pics: Ray Houghton, 1994

One of the moments of USA ’94 was captured by photographer Billy Stickland.


Credit: Inpho/Billy Stickland

“That game in the Giants Stadium was amazing. At that time, the Irish soccer team were capable of extraordinary results but you would have never thought going into that game that they would beat Italy.

“It was basically like a home ground for Italy as New York is so full of Italians, although there were a lot of Irish there too. In the first few minutes, Ray Houghton got the ball outside the penalty area. It had the same sort of feel to it as the one he got against England in Stuttgart in 1988.

“Then he charged across towards us. I was on the edge of the penalty box behind the goal line. In those day we had film in our cameras whereas now they just go on shooting. My film ran out just as he got to that tumble. That shot was the last frame.

“When you see it on television he jumps up and puts his hands in the air but the camera had run out of film and you don’t get a second chance.”

The story behind great Irish sports pics: Kevin Heffernan, 1989

New book features some of Ireland’s great sporting images

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Ben Blake

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