Football history could have unfolded very differently if Eric McMordie had taken George Best back with him to Northern Ireland. 

Having been on trial at Manchester United, the teenage pair became homesick with McMordie returned to Northern Ireland to work as a plasterer and played as an amateur for Dundella, while Best remained at Old Trafford after being persuaded to stay by Matt Busby to go on to become a star. 

However McMordie returned to England with Boro when he was recommended to the club by Irish scout Matt Willis, breaking into the side in 1965. 

He became an instant hit with the Boro fans when he scored on his home debut against Rotherham, and made occasional appearances in the promotion-winning campaign, appearing in the famous win over Oxford when elevation to the Second Division was clinched. 

McMordie became a star in the Boro line-up, earning him international recognition with Northern Ireland. He claimed 21 caps for them. 

Following the arrival of Jack Charlton in 1973, McMordie's Boro career drew to a close. He moved on to York City when his contract was up on Teesside, but returned to the North East with Hartlepool for a 46-game stint and retired at the age of 31.