THE grave of Patrick O’Connell, the Irish manager credited with saving Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, has finally been restored.
O’Connell, known as Don Patricio, died penniliess in London in 1959 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Kensal Green.
A campaign by the Patrick O’Connell Memorial Fund to raise money for a new gravestone was backed by Roy Keane, Kenny Dalglish, Franz Beckenbauer, David Beckham, Johan Cruyff, Paolo Maldini and Luis Figo.
As Barca manager, O’Connell led the club on a tour of Mexico in 1937 while the Catalan city descended into chaos during the Civil War.
O’Connell expanded the tour from two weeks to two months and the extended trip helped clear the club’s debts.
The former Belfast Celtic and Manchester United player also managed Real Betis – where he won the La Liga title – and city rivals Sevilla.
O’Connell was honoured with a tribute at Camp Nou in December.
A ceremony at St. Mary’s Cemetery will be held later this year to mark the restoration of the grave.
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