FOOTBALL: For Messi read Doherty as the two-touch penalty debate rages on

The 1958 Northern Ireland squad head off to Sweden.
The 1958 Northern Ireland squad head off to Sweden.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez’s trick for Barcelona delighted many when they scored a penalty against Celta Vigo in February.

Northern Ireland’s Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy McIlroy also used it, however it is thought that the first two touch penalty ever recorded was by Northern Ireland manager and legend Peter Doherty, who started his playing career at Coleraine.

At the time of Messi and Suarez’s two touch penalty, Film Producer Evan Marshall had just finished perfecting his Spirit Of ’58 documentary on Northern Ireland’s qualification for that World Cup, where the story of the two-man penalty began.

“After the excitement from Barcelona’s penalty I put a clip of the Northern Irish penalty from Spirit Of ’58 on Facebook and within two days it received half a million views,” explained the film producer.

“He was manager of Northern Ireland in 1957 when Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy McIroy did it and it was captured on film by the newsreels,” said Evan.

“Before he became manager Peter was one of the most famous players in the United Kingdom, it’s reckoned he was second only to George Best. Sadly not very much footage survives of him as a player, his best years were taken up by the war.

“One of the other players on the team was Raich Carter and apparently, Doherty and Carter tried this penalty.

“Trying to pin down online a source is very, very difficult.

“It may have been when they were playing for Derby County or it could have been in one of the exhibition matches played around then but it seems that these two players were the first to try it and then Blanchflower and McIlroy were the first players to have it captured.”