FCBarcelona and the Irish Connection
Just in case you didn’t have a reason to follow FCB, this Irish connection might just change that. The Irish Connections to FCBarcelona: Paddy O’Connell or Patricio O’Connell & Xavi O’Callaghan
History of Patrick Joseph O’Connell
Patrick O’Connell (born Dublin , Ireland , 8th March 1887 ; died St Pancras, London , England , 27th February 1959 ) was an Irish footballer and manager. Also known as Paddy O’Connell or Patricio O’Connell .
During the early 1900s he had a distinguished career as a strong and talented defender, playing for various clubs in Ireland , England and Scotland . He captained Ireland and was a member of the team that won the 1914 British Home Championship . His success with Ireland saw him join Manchester United where he again became captain.
After retiring as a player he moved to Spain where he managed Racing de Santander , Real Betis , Oviedo, Sevilla and FC Barcelona. In 1935 he led Real Betis to their one and only La Liga title and during the Spanish Civil War he took FC Barcelona on tour to Mexico and the United States . Despite these successes, he died destitute in London in 1959, aged 72.
O’Connell played as junior with Dublin team Stranville Rovers before joining Belfast Celtic . He joined Sheffield Wednesday in 1908 and Hull City in 1912. He spent one season, 1914/15, at Manchester United , making 34 league appearances and scoring twice. O’Connell then signed for Leyton Orient in April 1915 but the First World War interrupted his career. During the war he played as a guest player for both Rochdale A.F.C. and Chesterfield F.C. . O’Connell spent the 1919-20 season at Dumbarton F.C. before joining Ashington A.F.C. in 1920. The 1921/22 saw him appointed player-coach at Ashington.
Between 1912 and 1914 O’Connell played 5 times for Ireland and, along with Louis Bookman , Val Harris , Billy Gillespie and Bill Lacey , he was a member of the Irish team that won the 1914 British Home Championship . After beating Wales 2-1 away, Ireland then beat England 3-0 at Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough . O’Connell was captain of the team as they clinched the title following a 1-1 draw with Scotland at Windsor Park in Belfast .
In 1922 O’Connell was appointed manager of Racing de Santander . He subsequently guided the team to five regional titles and in 1928 they became founding members of La Liga . After one season at Real Oviedo , he joined Real Betis , at the time known as Betis Balompie . In 1935, with a team that included Lecue , he led them to their one and only La Liga title to date.
This success attracted the interest of FC Barcelona who appointed him as successor to Franz Platko for the 1935-36 season. With a squad that included Josep Escolà , Domènec Balmanya , Joan Josep Nogués and Enrique Fernández , O’Connell guided FC Barcelona to the Campionat de Catalunya and the Copa de España final. In the final Barça played Madrid CF and with the Madrid club leading 2-1, Escolà was denied a late equalizer after a spectacular save by Ricardo Zamora .
Spanish Civil War
During the 1936-37 season La Liga was suspended because of the Spanish Civil War. However clubs in the Republician area of Spain competed in the Mediterranean League and, under O’Connell, FC Barcelona won this title. During the summer of 1937 O’Connell took the club on tour to North America. Pic. Patrick O’Connell (centre, with hat), Barça manager, 1935-1937
In Mexico they played against, among others, Club America, Atlanta F.C. Necaxa and a Mexican XI. In the United States, they played against Brooklyn Hispano, Brooklyn St. Mary’s Celtic, and an American Soccer League XI. They finished the tour with a game against a Hebrew XI.
In financial terms this tour saved the club, but O’Connell only managed to return to Catalunya with only four players after the others were forced by Franco’s regime to go into exile in Mexico and France. By the 1937-38 season the Republican area was reduced in size and a second Mediterranean League was impossible to organise, however a Lliga Catalana, featuring just Catalan teams, was organised, despite a depleted squad,
O’Connell and FC Barcelona won both the Lliga Catalana and the Campionat de Catalunya. For these reasons, O’Connell is remembered and honored by the Catalan and FC Barcelona followers.
O’Connell went onto manage Sevilla FC between 1943 and 1945 before serving a second term as Racing de Santander coach between 1947 and 1949.
Xavier O’Callaghan i Ferrer – 3/2/1972
Is a Catalan handball player who competed in the 2000 & 2004 summer Olympics.
In 2000 he won the bronze medal with the Seleccion. He played three matches and scored five goals.
Four years later he finished seventh with the Seleccion handball team in the 2004 Olympic Tournament. He played six matches and scored eight goals.
- 7 Copes d’Europa (1990-1991, 1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000 i 2004-2005)
- 2 Recopes d’Europa (1993-1994 i 1994-1995)
- 1 Copa EHF (2002-2003)
- 5 Supercopes d’Europa (1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000 i 2003-2004)
- 8 Lligues espanyoles (1990-1991, 1991-1992, 1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000 i 2002-2003)
- 6 Copes del Rei (1992-1993, 1993-1994, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1999-2000 i 2003-2004)
- 8 Supercopes d’Espanya (1990-1991, 1991-1992, 1993-1994, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1999-2000, 2000-2001 i 2003-2004)
- 5 Copes ASOBAL (1994-1995, 1995-1996, 1999-2000, 2000-2001 i 2001-2002)
- 6 Lligues Catalanes (1990-1991, 1991-1992, 1992-1993, 1993-1994, 1994-1995 i 1996-1997)
- 6 Lligues dels Pirineus (1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002 i 2003-2004)
Research: Wiki, FCBarcelona,
For more on O’Connell you can click on this link http://www.irlandeses.org/0803burns1.htm