The story of the Irishman who went from Dublin to saving FC Barcelona

Fergus Dowd of the Patrick O'Connell Memorial Fund recounts the tale on Team 33

The story of the Irishman who went from Dublin to saving FC Barcelona

Patrick O'Connell (Wikimedia Commons)

On November 30th, the might Barcelona took on fellow La Liga side Real Betis in a league clash at the Nou Camp and an Irishman united both men.

That Co Westmeath-born Dubliner managed both teams in the 1930s and 40s, leading Betis to their only La Liga title in 1935 and playing an equally significant role with Barcelona, although he sadly died destitute in London in 1959.

Patrick O'Connell has been credited with saving FC Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War when they were in real danger of going out of business.

With the Champions League holders beginning to understand the significance of the former Manchester United and Belfast Celtic player to their illustrious history, they and Betis honoured him at the Nou Camp just before New Years.

Fergus Dowd of the Patrick O'Connell Memorial Fund was in attendance at the ceremony alongside Barcelona's club president and on this week's Team 33, he joined us on the show to tell us the remarkable story of a man who went from these shores to success in Spain with Barca, Betis, Sevilla and Racing Santander, while having an extremely colourful personal life on the side.

You can listen to the full interview with Fergus on the Patrick O'Connell story on the podcast player just below or download on iTunes: