Blyth Spartans clubhouse hosting amazing “Don Patricio” film on Friday – October 19

Blyth Spartans is proud to be opening its clubhouse doors on Friday evening (October 19) in honour of Patrick O’Connell – the man who saved Barcelona.

For one night only in Blyth, the film “Don Patricio” will be streamed at Croft Park – and it’s something you simply can’t afford to miss.

Born in Ireland in 1887, O’Connell began his footballing career at Sheffield Wednesday before a spell at Hull City opened up a move to Manchester United.

Captaining United in the early 1900s, it would until 1920 when O’Connell would begin to grow an affiliation with the North East – the start of an extraordinary story in the managerial spotlight.

His time at Northumberland neighbours Ashington as a player/ manager was his last role in England as his journey to Spain has since labelled him “Don Patricio” the man that saved Barcelona.

Impressing in management with Real Santander – where he won FIVE league title – Real Oviedo and Real Betis, attracted the interest of Barcelona.

Just as he got started at the Catalan giants, the Spanish Civil War had huge implications on Barcelona – however the work of O’Connell prevented the club from going out of business.

Had O’Connell not accepted an invitation from businessman Manuel Mas Serrano to travel to Mexico and the United States for a series of short but financially-rewarding games – earning a reported $15,000 – the club would have gone out of business.

The film, directed by Danish documentary worker Michael Andersen, tells the story of a remarkable and turbulent life – which sadly ended in poverty in 1959 – where he was buried in an unmarked grave for five years.

What is the Blyth Spartans connection?

Well, after becoming a recognised figure around Northumberland, in 2014 a group of Spartans fans led by Fergus Dowd, Simon Needham, Leanne Wake and Alan and Ciara McLean raised funds to restore his grave in London.

It was a conversation that happened in the Spartans clubhouse between the group of supporters and O’Connell’s family which saw Don Patricio’s story grab the attention of our club.

The world premiere – previously shown in Belfast and Dublin May 2018 – is finally coming to the North East – where the night will also be dedicated to the late and great Blyth Spartans club historian, Ken Sproat, whose interview features in the film.

A small auction will be hosted at some point during the evening with the proceeds going towards the If You Care Share Foundation.

The night is a ‘pay on the door’ event, priced at just £2. The film is scheduled to begin at 7:30pm with food and refreshments available throughout the evening.

Should you require any more information or have any queries, please contact


Posted by BSAFC Admin