Irish football legend Patrick O’Connell, affectionately known as ‘Don Patricio’ led a remarkable life. Born in Dublin in the shadow of Croke Park, O’Connell began his football career with Belfast Celtic before moving to England in 1909 to play for Sheffield Wednesday. He captained Ireland to victory in the British Home Championship of 1914, a performance that prompted Manchester United to sign him from Hull City for a fee of £1,000, then a British transfer record.
After his playing career came to an end he immigrated to Spain in 1922, where he is best remembered for guiding Real Betis to their only La Liga title and reputedly saving F.C. Barcelona from financial ruin during the Spanish Civil War. Yet despite attaining so much success, he died penniless and forgotten in London and was buried in an unmarked grave.
This new temporary exhibition helps to shine a light on one of the forgotten greats of Irish football. The exhibition includes video interviews with some of the legends of Irish football, including Martin O’Neill. There are also a number of signed jerseys on display.
The exhibition takes place to coincide with a number of upcoming events on Patrick O’Connell. Our next lecture event on 15 May, we’ll be joined by Sue O’Connell, the grand daughter-in-law of Patrick and author of the definitive biography on his life. Tickets for this event are priced €5 and are available here.
The upcoming feature documentary on Patrick O’Connell will receive its premiere at The Sugar Club, Dublin, on 14 May, with further screenings on 21 and 28 May. Tickets to the screening of Don Patricio are priced €12.50 (plus booking fees) are available by clicking here.