Eamon Dunphy has recounted his own play-off heartache ahead of Ireland's crunch clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina as he marks the 50th anniversary of his debut for the international side.

Dunphy earned 23 caps for Ireland, and it's 50 years to the day on Tuesday since he faced Spain in his very first game in a green shirt.

Ireland were beaten 1-0 in the 1966 World Cup play-off game in Parc des Princes, Paris, but the RTÉ Soccer Analyst has good memories of playing in what was a strong Irish team.

Speaking to RTÉ 2fm's Game On, he said: “There were three teams in the group, Syria had pulled out because of political reasons. We lost 4-1 to Spain in Seville. We won the game in Dublin and this was the play-off to go to the 1966 World Cup.

"They had a really great team. Suarez was the European footballer of the year. I was playing directly opposite him. John Giles of course was as well. We only lost 1-0.

"The FAI sold us out really. The match was due to be played in Highbury. The Spaniards wanted to play it in Paris because in the era of Franco there were a lot of Spanish exiles in Paris.

"It was a home game effectively for them. We held out until 10 or 12 minutes from the end but it was a good Irish team. Noel Cantwell, played, Tony Dunne. There were some very good players and some very bad players, like me. But it was a gallant effort.

“I was decent enough. I wasn’t strong enough – I was bit like Wes Hoolahan actually! I wasn’t quite as good as Wes but I was that sort of player. But my career should stay in the shadows."

Martin O'Neill's men take on Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first leg of the Euro 2016 play-off in Zenica on Friday, but Dunphy fears for Ireland's chances against a side led by in-form Roma stars Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic.

“With our injuries, and they’re a good side, I wouldn’t be confident,” he said.