As the region is gripped by the Euro 2016 finals in France, the Times unearthed an article from June 1989, when Northern Ireland’s number one goalkeeper, Tommy Wright, paid a visit to Ballyclare Primary School.
The Newcastle United player returned to his home-town while on holiday.
Pupils in the senior classes were delighted when he interrupted lessons to tell them about some of the thrills of playing in front of capacity crowds in some of England’s top football stadia.
Principal George Brown recalled how as a schoolboy, Tommy had been a prolific scorer as a centre forward.
He said: “We have had many fine sportsmen here during the past couple of decades, but when it came to putting the ball in the net, Tommy had few peers and scored more goals than any other pupil I can recall.”
Tommy is currently the manager of Scottish side, St Johnstone.