Football is Northern Ireland
's favourite sport, but the national team has not enjoyed success for many years now. At the FIFA World Cup in 1958 and 1982, Northern Ireland
finished in 8th and 9th position respectively, but they last qualified for the finals in 1986, finishing in 21st place. It is perhaps therefore no surprise that to find the greatest names in Northern Irish footballing history, one has to look at the country's past. William McCrum introduced the penalty kick to the Laws of the Game, while Billy Bingham achieved world fame as a player and later coached the Northern Irish national team for many years. George Best was one of the most enigmatic footballers ever seen by the footballing world, and Norman Whiteside became the youngest ever player in FIFA World Cup finals history when he appeared at the age of 17. The Irish Football Association - the world's fourth oldest football association - celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2005.