Ex-Barcelona boss from Dublin to be inducted into the club hall of fame for saving the club

A Drumcondra man is about to be the first Irish man to be bestowed with the honour

Ex-Barcelona boss from Dublin to be inducted into the club hall of fame for saving the club

©INPHO/Presseye/Freddie Parkinson

The Dublin man who rescued FC Barcelona from bankruptcy will receive due recognition from the Spanish club tomorrow.

Patrick O'Connell of the Drumcondra area, captained Manchester United for a period after signing for them in 1914 before taking up the manager role at Barcelona in the 1930's.

As part of the tribute to O'Connell, a commemorative painting will hang in the Hall of Fame. In addition, the legacy of O'Connell, who eventually died a penniless man in an unmarked grave, will be revealed at the Nou Camp by the club President ahead of Barcelona's La Liga clash against Real Betis.

At the time of O'Connell's appointment in Barcelona, the Spanish Civil War had just begun. Franco intended to ruin the club which is what caused its financial decline. O'Connell used his innovative skill to bring the team on a tour to Mexico and America, gathering funds along the way which ultimately rescued the club.  

A Patrick O'Connell Memorial Fund has since been established in memory of the man who once plied his trade with Belfast Celtic, in an effort to ensure O'Connell's story endures for future generations.

Alan McLean, a member of that organisation, will attend the ceremony tomorrow and is looking forward to the occasion. 

'His record, not only in managing Barcelona and Real Betis, is exceptional.'