Patrick O’Connell, from Drumcondra, will be the first Irishman to be inducted into Barcelona’s club hall of fame.

A DUBLINER who saved FC Barcelona from the brink of bankruptcy will be honoured by the Spanish giants tomorrow.

Patrick O’Connell, from Drumcondra, is the first Irishman to be inducted into the club’s hall of fame.

Patrick O'Connell on the bench at Barcelona

Patrick O’Connell on the bench at Barcelona

A former Manchester United captain, O’Connell managed Barca in the 1930s.

He also guided Real Betis of Seville to their one and only Spanish league title, but died penniless in London, where he is buried in an unmarked grave.

His extraordinary story will be recognised before Barcelona’s La Liga fixture against Real Betis at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

O’Connell, who was born in 1897, will join an elite list including Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff who have been honoured by the famous club.

Banbridge man Alan McLean is involved with the Patrick O’Connell Memorial Fund, a campaign to secure a lasting memorial to him.

He has travelled to Barcelona for tomorrow’s ceremony, and said it was a fitting recognition.

“His record, not only in managing Barcelona and Real Betis, is exceptional,” said Mr McLean.

O’Connell was appointed Barcelona manager just before the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936.

Franco was intent on destroying the club, which lurched towards the brink of bankruptcy.

But O’Connell took his team on a tour to Mexico and the US which generated the funds needed to keep it afloat.