Auction Date: 9/06/2016 at 10:30 am
2015 Ireland v Wales rugby international players match worn shirt - No. 15 short sleeve shirt issued and worn by Rob Kearney and embroidered to the bottom left hand corner “Rob Kearney Cap 61 Wales 14-3-2016” – and is signed by 17 players - although losing to Wales 23-16 in the 4th week Ireland went onto beat Scotland in a very thrilling last weekend edging out both England and Wales on point difference and retaining the Championship for the 2nd successive season and even more remarkable that Ireland played 3 out of the five matches away from home. Note this shirt has been donated by Rob Kearney in aid of the Patrick O'Connell Memorial Fund to restore the unmarked grave of Irish football legend Patrick O’Connell. Patrick Joseph O'Connell (b.1887 – d.1959), He played as a defender, most notably, for Belfast Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Manchester United. He has the distinction of being the first player from what is now the Republic of Ireland to play for Manchester United. As an international, he captained Ireland and was a member of the team that won the 1914 British Home Championship. However, O'Connell is probably best remembered for managing several clubs in La Liga. In 1935 he led Real Betis to their first La Liga title and during the Spanish Civil War he took FC Barcelona on a tour of North America. Due to the financial success of this tour, FC Barcelona cleared their debts and saved the club, however O'Connell returned to Spain with only four players after the others chose to go into exile in Mexico and France. By the 1937–38 season the Republican area was reduced in size and a second Mediterranean League was impossible to organize. However a Lliga Catalana, featuring just Catalan teams, was organised. Despite a depleted squad, O'Connell and FC Barcelona won both the Lliga Catalana and the Campionat de Catalunya. Despite these successes, he died destitute in London in 1959. For further information go online to the official website www.pocfund.com
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