Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Patrick O'Connell - Belfast Celtic

  1. #1
    New Signing
    Joined
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Oldbury
    Posts
    4
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Question Patrick O'Connell - Belfast Celtic

    Calling all historians out there! Would like some information on O'Connell about his time at Celtic prior to his move to Sheffield Wednesday in 1908. Any info on appearances, date joined etc or links to further info would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    First Team Plastic Paddy's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Somewhere in the hills around London
    Posts
    2,346
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    31
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    26
    Thanked in
    19 Posts
    Google is your friend...

    http://foot.ie/printthread.php?threadid=8592

    or - better still:

    http://www.derrycityfc.net/html/modu...rder=0&sid=300

    Here's the text from the Derry site:

    In the run up to the clash with Spanish giants Barcelona, Kevin McDaid of Derry City Online looks at one of the club's past managers
    The only Irishman to manage Barcelona? Now there’s a quiz question that will stump all but the most knowledgeable of European football fans here today. Want a clue? He played for Manchester United, captained Ireland and won two Spanish League titles. Got it yet? You must know who it is now, with a record with that they have to be well known. The answer is Patrick O’Connell, a remarkable man whose achievements have become lost in the sands of time. Foreign managers may be all the rage these days but the fact that he managed Barca in the 1930s is the reason that his name is not well known.

    O'Connell was born in Dublin in 1887 and as you can imagine, details about his early days are very hard to come by. He first rose to prominence on the field of play where he was a handy half back playing with the famous Belfast Celtic. From there he moved to the English league where he played with Sheffield Wednesday ,Hull City and then onto Manchester United in 1914, just before the start of World War I. O’Connell made his debut against Oldham and scored in a United victory. He would go on to make 35 appearances for United in his time there.

    O’Connell had also risen to captain the Irish national side. This caps were won in the days before the formation of the Irish Free State; the domestic game was ruled by the IFA who were based in Belfast. The feeling outside of Ulster was that the IFA were biased towards the Protestant clubs, based in the North, when selecting players for the national sides. Therefore it was an great achievement for the Catholic O’Connell who had played for Belfast Celtic to be chosen to lead the side.

    The outbreak of the First World War I in 1914 was to provide an interruption to O’Connell’s top flight career. Like most top flight footballers he found himself exempt from combat duties and found himself turning out for Clapton Orient, Rochdale and Chesterfield while war raged in Europe. Football took a lower priority with minor competitions formed, with suspended contracts all players in or out of the forces were at liberty to play for teams of their choice.

    After the war O’Connell found himself spending a season with Dumbarton before being appointed manager at non-league Ashington in 1922. His spell with Ashington saw him move to Racing Satander in Spain where he was appointed coach. The Spanish game had been an import of the foreign population in Spain and in the early days was the preserve of the rich. However at the start of the 1920s it had experienced a surge in popularity from the general public, crossing the class barrier to link middle classes with the factory workers. The Spanish clubs used a number of foreign managers to learn the tactics and strategy with were used by the English, who were admired throughout Europe.

    O’Connell was to enjoy success with the underdogs of Santander, spending seven seasons with the coastal club, leading them to them the Championship in the 1928/29 season. His career appears to have gone into hibernation for a few years as there is no trace of his whereabouts until 1933 when he was appointed manager of Real Betis of Seville. O’Connell led the club to its first title in 1934 and none of the subsequent managers have managed to take the Championship back to Betis.

    With this success, Barcelona who had grown to one of the biggest clubs in Spain, decided to employ O’Connell to replace Franz Platko. He took charge of Barcelona just on the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Many of the club’s directors were involved in political parties which wanted independence for Catalonia, the region in which Barcelona is situated. There was great concern that the Franco led forces would seize the stadium, as it was one of the symbols of Catalonian independence

    The board decided to try and continue running the club,.at least at regional level will they were still able to. The club would be visited by tragedy during the bloody war, with chairman, Josep Sunyol, executed without trial by the forces of Franco, as he was involved with the movement to defend Barcelona from the uprising.

    The civil war meant an end to the national league as with the continuing violence, travel was impossible. Barcelona played for a season in the Catalan Championship but political violence dogged the city. O’Connell struggled to field a team with the ensuing troubles but managed to win 2 Campeonatos de Cataluña, a Copa de España and a Liga de Catalunya in his two seasons. However the escalating violence saw the team go on tour to Mexica and the USA in the summer of 1937, as the directors feared for the safety of the players. The promoters also offered Barcelona $15,000 as well as their expenses. This was a heaven sent opportunity, as the club had suffered with falling attendances during the riots among the left in Barcelona. And so the players and O’Connell spent four care-free months in North America, playing a number of exhibition games.

    However by September 1937 the tour was over and it was time to return home. O’Connell return home with only four of the players that travelled, the rest choosing to stay in Mexico, fearing reprisals on their return. O’Connell status as a respected foreigner who had brought glory to other clubs in Spain meant that he was never in danger and so he returned to the club. However the membership of the club had dropped to under 3,000 and the board had to release all the staff as football had ceased, due to the occupation of Barcelona by Franco. And so O’Connell, despite his success found himself out of a job.

    The Civil War ended in 1939 and football slowly returned to normal with the national league established. O’Connell was appointed coach of Sevilla in 1942 and lead them to the lower league title .O’Connell managed Sevilla for a further three years but failed to repeat the success of his first season. After this the trail goes cold, though it is known that O’Connell returned to England and settled, however he appears to have lived the rest of his life away from football. Despite his success, on and off the field, Patrick O’Connell died in a London in 1959 aged seventy two, a forgotten man whose achievements must surely elevate the man to the status of legend.

    ---

    PP
    Semper in faecibus sole profundum variat

  3. #3
    New Signing
    Joined
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Oldbury
    Posts
    4
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Thank Paddy but.....

    Thanks but I already have all this info and alot more. As my thread says - I am looking for further info of his time at Belfast Celtic only as I only know that he played for them prior to joining the Wednesday.

  4. #4
    First Team Plastic Paddy's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Somewhere in the hills around London
    Posts
    2,346
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    31
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    26
    Thanked in
    19 Posts
    My apologies for wasting your time.

    You might want to try here. You can do your own searching this time though.

    PP
    Semper in faecibus sole profundum variat

  5. #5
    New Signing
    Joined
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Oldbury
    Posts
    4
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Unhappy Oh dear....

    Sorry If I have offended you as this was not my intention. I do appreciate the time taken on posting your reply to my thread. It just happened to be that I already have the information that you posted. No hard feelings, eh?

  6. #6
    First Team Plastic Paddy's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Somewhere in the hills around London
    Posts
    2,346
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    31
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    26
    Thanked in
    19 Posts

    Offence? As if...

    None taken at all. Honest. My reply was a little acerbic, but then it's far too far too bloody early to be out of bed on a Sunday. Hence the grouchiness.

    Good luck with your search. I suggest you get in touch with the guys that run the Belfast Celtic website. They'll point you in the right direction for sure.

    PP
    Semper in faecibus sole profundum variat

  7. #7
    Reserves
    Joined
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    322
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    There's a few nice insights into the man in Jimmy Burns' book "Barca :A People's Passion." An extraordinary man from what I've read and its a shame his memory has been somewhat forgotten and not portrayed in the light it deserved. The first Irish man to lend a significant hand in the development of one of the world's greatest clubs. Will we ever see another Irish man don the Barca colours? Here's hoping......
    Mens sana in corpore sano

Similar Threads

  1. Patrick O'Connell - La Liga winning manager
    By culloty82 in forum Ireland
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04/10/2014, 1:21 AM
  2. Patrick O'Connell docu TG4 tonight at 9.30pm
    By horton in forum World League Football
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04/10/2012, 8:02 PM
  3. Belfast Celtic FC
    By Atlanta in forum Irish League
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 11/11/2010, 10:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •