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The Greatest Irish Football Story You Didn't Know About Is Hitting The Big Screen

The Greatest Irish Football Story You Didn't Know About Is Hitting The Big Screen
By Ste McGovern

It's the greatest Irish football story you never heard; the story of man who left Ireland amidst scandal, became a legend in Spanish football, and saved Barcelona from extinction. And it's coming to the big screen.

Before managing several clubs in LaLiga, Patrick O'Connell was the first Irishman to captain Manchester United. In Spain he managed Real Betis to their one and only league title in 1935, before taking on the Barça job the very next season. He is credited with saving the club during the Spanish Civil War by bringing the squad on a North American tour, raising much needed funds along the way.

The Dubliner, also known as Don Patricio, cut a complicated figure who earned a reputation as a womaniser and a bigamist, and despite his success he ended up dying in destitute in London in 1959.

The full story will told in a new film titled Don Patricio, and features interviews with a host of famous footballing names, including Martin O'Neill. The Ireland manager is dismayed that he didn't know about one of the most fascinating people in Irish sports history, and he probably won't be the only one when this film comes out.

Don Patricio was made in conjunction with the Patrick O'Connell Fund, who raised funds to have his body exhumed and given a proper burial.

The film is premiering on May 14th in The Sugar Club, Dublin.

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