Gillespie: Our World Cup final
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Keith Gillespie led the celebrations as Northern Ireland rejoiced in defeating England at Windsor Park.
The Sheffield United winger was one of his side's outstanding players in Belfast and his career is clearly picking up again after a spell out of the limelight.
"This is the best feeling ever," he told Sky Sports News. "When we came out after the game, the boys were saying it was like winning the World Cup.
"Tonight really was our World Cup final."
Goalscorer David Healy, who wrote his name in history with the well-taken winner, had to go back on his pre-match prediction that England would definitely score at some point.
"People expected England would beat us 3-0 or 4-0, as they did at Old Trafford," he stated.
"We crumbled a bit in the second half at Old Trafford and it was mentioned in the dressing room at half time. We've been here before so let's not throw it away again.
"We've not just done ourselves proud but our families proud, and the country, everybody really."
Hull City's Stuart Elliott was similarly satisfied with Lawrie Sanchez's side's work throughout the qualifiers.
"We've already excelled ourselves in this group," he claimed.
"Even if we don't do anything else, we've had a fantastic World Cup campaign."