Northern Ireland at World Cup 1982

The other Tony Matthews with his new book Credit: Tony Matthews

1982 was a very special year for Spanish football as Spain hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time.

It was also a very special year for football minnows Northern Ireland as their team qualified for the finals for just the second time in their history.

Memoirs from 1982

A teacher of English originally from Northern Ireland but by then with property in Spain, Tony Mathews was appointed as interpreter and liaison officer by the Spanish Royal Organising Committee.

As Northern Ireland and Spain were both in the same play off group, he asked if he could be assigned to the Northern Ireland squad and to his delight, this was approved.

After all of these years and now living in Madrid with a holiday property in Los Alcazares, Tony has been persuaded to write his story of the events covering those few weeks and he reveals secrets of the players, the situation in Spain still under the rule of Franco, his encounters with some of the greats of world football and much more.

Raising funds for Children’s Hospital

The book, titled YER MAN WILL LOOK AFTER OUR LANGUAGE is being sold to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Unit Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast and can be obtained online from Amazon at in Spain.

It will be noticed that this Tony bills himself on the book cover as the other Tony Matthews as he is aware of the tremendous number of books on the subject of football produced by our former columnist Tony Matthews.

According to the other Tony, The book will also be featured as one of the sources for a UK feature-length documentary which after a year’s research will soon be entering into the production phase.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page