East Belfast MP Mrs Long joined dignitaries and stars from the sporting world at the revealing of the blue plaque for Danny Blanchflower in Grace Avenue in her constituency. Blanchflower captained Northern Ireland to their best World Cup Finals finish in 1958, later managing the team, while enjoying a legendary career with Tottenham Hotspur in the 1960s, captaining the team to League, FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup glory.
The Ulster History Circle plaque marks the player’s former home, which he wrote about in his later career as a journalist as the place he first kicked a football.
Mrs Long said it was a great honour to be at the ceremony, which was also attended by former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings, FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce and commentator Jackie Fullerton, as well as Danny Blanchflower’s family.
“Danny was one of East Belfast’s favourite sons, playing a number of years with Glentoran before moving to England. It’s always great to see one of our own do so well and Danny was certainly one of the most successful.
“Any football fan knows the name Blanchflower and he was a hero to many. The impressive turnout today shows he is still a hero to many and I was delighted to take part in this tribute to an iconic player.”