Don Patricio: The Irishman who saved Barça

Don Patricio: The Irishman who saved Barça

The life of onetime Man Utd captain and Barcelona coach Patrick O’Connell ended in sad obscurity, but his story exemplifies the power of sport to transform society

If they have the sports channels in heaven, then one Irishman must have been watching with particular interest as Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League last Tuesday.

He was one of the most successful Irishmen ever in football, with perhaps the most intriguing – and eccentric – career. He was the first Irishman to captain Manchester United, and is known in Spain as “the man who saved Barça”. And yet for decades he...

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