Who is the only Irish manager to manager successfully in Spain? That man is Patrick O’Connell, also known as Patricio O’Connell, who managed successfully at both Real Betis and FC Barcelona. But, who was he? Where did he make his name?
Patrick O’Connell was born on the 8th of March 1887 in Westmeath, Ireland, playing the position of wing half. His playing career included playing for: Belfast Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Manchester United. As an Irish International, his honours include captaining Ireland to the British Home Championship in 1914.
O’Connell was born in Westmeath, but moved to Dublin when he was a boy and played for several of the local sides including Frankfort. He would go on to help found the League of Ireland. In March 1909, he was transferred to Wednesday from Belfast Celtic for £50. Have that Ronaldo and Bale.
But, as we said before, he is best known for managing Barcelona, but it was at Real Betis where he made his name. Patrick O’Connell managed Real Betis (Betis Balompie) from 1931 – 1935. Starting off in 1932, O’Connell and Betis won the Segunda, before in 1935, winning their one and only La Liga title in and team that included Lecue.
Patrick O’Connell would go onto successfully manage at FC Barcelona to a Mediterranean League Title, Liga Catalana and Campionat de Catalunya. Despite all of these successes, Patrick O’Connell died destitute in London in 1959 aged 71.
This was a guest post written by Aaron of A Terrace View. Follow them on Twitter at @aterraceview