If Ray Houghton’s winning header against bitter rivals England wasn’t enough for Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland side then Houghton’s Liverpool team-mate Ronnie Whelan went one better with a stupendous strike against the Soviet Union.
It all came from a goal out of the Stoke City play-book. Big Mick McCarthy launched, and I mean propelled a long throw from level with the 18-yard box, despite some shameful gamesmanship from the Russian defender stood directly in the Celtic defender’s path.
Nonetheless the ball travelled a full 50 yards through the air and Whelan, who hadn’t score a goal of this quality since the 1983 League Cup Final, watched it intently.
The ball dropped and the Liverpool man flung himself backwards, fully off the ground and connected with a sumptious volley that flew into the top corner and remains one of the European Championship’s best-ever goals.