New Irish Language Broadcast Fund documentary Paddy Don Patricio looks at the Dublin man history almost forgot. His real name was Patrick O’Connell and he was a former Belfast Celtic player, who later captained Manchester United during the First World War, his career culminated in him saving FC Barcelona from extinction as its club manager during the Spanish Civil War. Produced by Tobar Productions Paddy Don Patricio airs this Wednesday, 3rd October, at 9.30pm on TG4.
Born in Westmeath in 1887, Paddy O’Connell’s remarkable journey began with Liffey Wanderers before a move to Belfast Celtic proved the catalyst, which saw Paddy go on to captain Manchester United and win numerous caps for Ireland. As age got the better of his legs he turned his restless spirit to Spain, managing Real Betis to a famous and unexpected La Liga title, prior to all but saving FC Barcelona from the clutches of Franco.
While Paddy enjoyed adulation and famous victories on the field of play, his personal life was tainted with both the suspicion of match fixing and the reality of an abandoned family and bigamy. Complex and colourful throughout, Paddy was to learn that life, like football is a game of two halves and he ended his days alone and in poverty, his grave unmarked and his sporting achievements all but forgotten.
Tobar’s Paddy Don Patricio dramatises and documents the fantastical sporting journey of one of Ireland’s forgotten greats. Paddy’s grandson Mike O Connell, pays an amazingly passionate and balanced tribute to his grandfather.
Directed by IFTA award winner Pat Comer (In the Name of the Fada, Tall Dark & Ó hAilpín), and produced by Gráinne McElwain (Stone Cold Sober, GAA BEO, Imeall Geal). The film was funded by the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF), the Broadcast Authority of Ireland (BAI) and TG4, and produced with assistance from Batabat, (Barcelona).
Paddy Don Patricio Wednesday 3rd October at 9.30pm on TG4.