Billy Bingham

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William Laurence Bingham (born Belfast August 5, 1931) was a Northern Irish footballer and football manager.

Playing career

Billy Bingham played football for:

Bingham was a small elusive right winger who provided fine deliveries from the flank. Among his dribbling skills, he would 'pretend' to stumble whilst in control of the ball, a trick which would often throw his opponents off balance.

Bingham joined Sunderland in 1950 for £8,000 making 227 appearances and scoring 47 goals before his departure in 1958 for Luton Town where he played in the 1959 FA Cup final. At the start of the 1960-61 season after Luton's relegation, he joined Everton for a fee of £15,000. During his time at Everton, he made 98 appearances and scored 26 goals. Bingham left Everton after being in the 1963 Championship winning team and joined Port Vale. He retired from playing after breaking his leg in 1964.

He was a Northern Ireland international and played for his country in the World Cup finals 1958, reaching the quarterfinals of that tournament. He was awarded 56 full caps.

Managerial Career

Bingham took over as manager in May 1973 at Everton and finished seventh in his first season. He brought in players such as Martin Dobson and Bob Latchford. Everton seemed likely to win the title again in 1975, but only won once in the last five games finishing fourth. In 1975-76 Everton finished eleventh but a run of eight league games without a win resulted in Bingham being sacked in January 1977.

Bingham managed Northern Ireland in two spells. He led them to the World Cup finals in 1982 and 1986. Under his leadership, his team also won the British Home Championship twice and defeated West Germany, home and away, in the Euros.

Bingham caused controversy by allegedly conducting the crowd in renditions of Loyalist songs 'Billy Boys' and 'The Sash' when the Republic of Ireland travelled to Windsor Park for a World Cup qualifier in 1993. Bingham claimed at the time that his only intention was to get the crowd behind the team, not to provoke sectarian hatred. The Republic's manager Jack Charlton (who, ironically, later detailed singing IRA songs with the team in his autobiography), refused to shake hands with Bingham after the match. However, Bingham also made Martin O'Neill captain of his squad - the first Catholic to captain the Northern Irish national team.

Bingham was diagnosed with demntia in 2006. He died on June 10, 2022, in a nursing home in Southport.