31 August 2007

Billy 'Pat' McConnell

Name: William Henry McConnell
Born: 2 September 1901, Corbolis
Died: 1974, Slough
Height: 5.10 ft
Weight: 12.03 st
Position: Left-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 8 Full Caps (1925-1928).
Club Honours: (with Reading) Football League Division Three (South) Champion 1925/26.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Slough YMCA
-
-
Youth
-
-
-
Slough Town
-
-
-
-
-
-
Arsenal
22/23
-
Trial
0/0
-
-
Charlton Athletic
-
-
Trial
0/0
-
-
Reading
24/25-27/28
May-24
-
142/1
20/0
-
Slough Town
-
-
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
142/1
20/0
-

Biography:
Billy McConnell's family moved to Slough when he was four years-old, and it was there that he began his footballing career. At the age of 16 he aided Slough Town to the Berks & Bucks Cup, eventually making it to senior football with Reading in 1924. He quickly established himself in the Royals' first eleven and is still regarded among the clubs greatest ever left-backs. In 1926 he aided the club to the Division Three (South) title and the 1927 FA Cup semi-final where they lost out to eventual winners, Cardiff City.

A "finely built player" who "used his physical strength to the limit", McConnell earned a number of representative honours. He played for the Professional of the South against the Amateurs of the South in a match that tried out a new form of the offside law. In 1925 he won the first of ten consecutive selections for Ireland, though due to injury and club commitments he was able to accept only eight of them. Five of his international appearances saw him line-out in the same team as club-mate Hugh Davey. McConnell's total of eight caps remained a Reading club record for 60 years.

The Biscuitmen
McConnell scored just once in his Football League career, against Middlesbrough in 1927. Unfortunately, in scoring against the Second Division Champions-elect he picked up an injury that would eventually force him to retire from playing. Later he qualified as a Football League linesman and played cricked for Berkshire. He also ran a pub in Reading and later became a newsagent in Slough.

Ireland Cap Details:
18-04-1925 Wales... A D 0-0 BC
24-10-1925 England. H D 0-0 BC
13-02-1926 Wales... H W 3-0 BC
20-10-1926 England. A D 3-3 BC
26-02-1927 Scotland H L 0-2 BC
09-04-1927 Wales... A D 2-2 BC
22-10-1927 England. H W 2-0 BC
04-02-1928 Wales... H L 1-2 BC

Summary: 8/0. Won 2, Drew 4, Lost 2.

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