Former Everton player and manager Billy Bingham is celebrating his 90th birthday today and he was delighted to receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Chairman Bill Kenwright and all the staff at the Football Club.
Born in Belfast in 1931, Billy began his illustrious career as a winger with Glentoran before attracting the attention of Sunderland, for whom he appeared more than 200 times between 1950 and 1958.
During his early days at Roker Park, Billy continued with his ship-building apprenticeship, but he would go on to spend a lifetime in football.
In 1958 he signed for Luton Town and played in their FA Cup final team at the end of his first season when the Hatters lost narrowly to Nottingham Forest at Wembley.
In October 1960 he started his love affair with Everton, making his debut in a 3-2 victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The first of Billy’s 26 career goals for the Blues came at the end of that month against Nottingham Forest. He played 98 games in total for Everton and was a key member of the 1962/63 League Championship-winning squad.
After winding up his playing days at Port Vale, Billy turned to coaching.
His first managerial post was with Southport and from there he took charge of Northern Ireland, Plymouth Argyle, Linfield and the Greek national team before arriving back at Goodison Park in 1973.
Under his stewardship Everton narrowly missed out on the 1974/75 First Division title and he brought Goodison favourites Bob Latchford, Martin Dobson, Andy King and Duncan McKenzie, amongst others, to the Club.
Billy left Everton in the spring of 1977 and managed PAOK in Greece and Mansfield Town before a second spell with Northern Ireland.
He famously led his country to two World Cup finals tournaments in Spain (1982) and Mexico (1986) and is revered as a legend across the Irish Sea.
Everybody at Everton sends their best wishes to Billy Bingham as he reaches his nonagenarian milestone!