Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton was born in Glasgow and came through the intermediate ranks with Scotland, but opted to represent the Republic of Ireland as a senior international and made his debut against Cymru in March 1986 when a goal from Ian Rush earned Mike England's side a 1-0 victory in Dublin.

However, Scotland's loss was indeed the Republic of Ireland's gain, and he played under Jack Charlton at the finals of three major tournaments having decided to switch allegiances.

Houghton made 73 international appearances for Ireland between 1986 and 1997, scoring six goals. However, he is best remembered for his famous strike against Italy at the 1994 FIFA World Cup that earned Ireland a famous 1-0 win in New York. It was Italy who had eliminated Ireland from the tournament at the quarter-final stage four years earlier, and the goal remains one of the most-memorable of the tournament as Houghton's looping effort from distance caught goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca out of position.

“Ray was always my number one choice on the right-hand side of the field,” said Charlton in 2013. “There was never any question of it. When you pick a team there's always certain players that you want in and Ray was always one of mine. He was everybody's dream for a right-sided player. He would get back into defensive positions when you lost the ball, he could get forward and go wide. When he had the ball it would take it to people and behind people, he would chase people, he would close down anyone who had the ball as quickly as possible. I wanted him to put people under pressure and nobody did it better than Ray.

“He scored two goals that I remember, there was one against England with a header, and then he scored the goal that beat Italy at Giants Stadium in New York. I still think the goalkeeper didn't have a clue where the ball was going, but neither did Ray! He came in from the right-side onto his left foot, went for the shot, got half a chip and the goalkeeper came off his line and the ball drifted over his head into an empty net. It was a wonderful goal, but I think it was a mistake and an accident, wasn't it Ray?!”

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