"An Extraordinary Life"

-Martin O'Neill


Patrick Joseph O'Connell (8 March 1887 – 27 February 1959), also known as Paddy O'Connell or Patricio O'Connell, was an Irish footballer and manager. He played as a defender, most notably, for Belfast Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Manchester United. He has the distinction of being the first player from what is now the Republic of Ireland to play for Manchester United.

As an international, he captained Ireland and was a member of the team that won the 1914 British Home Championship. However, O'Connell is probably best remembered for managing several clubs in La Liga. In which he led Real Betis to their first La Liga title and during the Spanish Civil War he took FC Barcelona on a tour of Mexico and North America. Despite these successes, he died destitute in London in 1959.

In the Press

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Independent 2 March, 2017



Irish Football Association

8 February, 2017



the Guardian 10 September, 2014



Belfast Telegraph, 6 March, 2017



Irish Post 10 November, 2016