oconnell llotja bartomeu

Coinciding with Wednesday's La Liga clash at Camp Nou between FC Barcelona and Real Betis, the figure of Patrick O'Connell, who was Coach of both teams, was recognized in an official ceremony held in the Presidential Josep Suñol Box at the stadium.

FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, accompanied by members of the club's board as well as by members of the board of Real Betis, of the Patrick O'Connell Foundation and Diplocat, met family representative Mike O'Connell — the grandson of the former coachbefore the game in the Presidential Box.

During the get together, which was also attended by former Barça player Steve Archibald and the painter Tony Denton, the latter presenting the Club with a painting of Patrick O'Connell. President Bartomeu presented the O'Connell family with a depiction of the Barça party that travelled to Mexico and the USA in 1937.

FC Barcelona and continues to actively participate in events to honour the figure of Patrick O'Connell. In February, the FC Barcelona Foundation joined with Patrick O'Connell, through the gift of a signed shirt to auction and raise funds, to build a monument to St. Mary's Cemetery at Kensal Green, London, honouring O'Connell's sporting achievements.

Patrick O'Connell, born in Dublin in 1887, deserves a special mention in any Barça history. The former Ireland captain managed Barça in the 1935/36 season, guiding the team into the cup final. The outbreak of the Civil War meant there was no national league the following year, but O’Connell insisted on keeping the team active and took them on a fund-raising tour of North America. When the conflict ended, he returned for another season before leaving for Betis. Although in many ways, this Westmeath native saved the club from a potential catastrophe and was one of the most brilliant managers of his era, he died a destitute man in London in 1959. The Patrick O’Connell Memorial Fund has since found his unmarked tomb and recently held a charity auction to raise funds to erect a monument in his memory. FC Barcelona donated a shirt signed by the first team-squad in support of the cause.

Reconeixement del club a Patrick O’Connell by fcbarcelona
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