Continuing a new weekly series saluting some of the most celebrated names in Cliftonville history, cliftonvillefc.net today delves into the Club’s Hall of Fame to salute midfielder John O’Connor.
Inducted to the John McCredy McAlery Hall of Fame in May 2019, O’Connor scored five goals in 92 appearances over four seasons at Solitude.
Formerly with Queens Park Rangers, ‘Jock’ was just 19 years of age when he made a late substitute appearance in the 1979 Irish Cup Final, having previously impressed with a string of lively performances in the middle of the park.
In that celebrated campaign – when the Reds also lifted the County Antrim Shield – O’Connor turned out in 25 of the team’s 47 fixtures across all competitions, with one of his two goals during the term coming in a 3-2 victory over Coleraine in the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup.
Part of the first Cliftonville side to play in Europe when FC Nantes Atlantique visited for a Cup Winners’ Cup clash – when, as a sub, he replaced Brendan McGuickan at Solitude before starting the return leg in France – John may only have been at the Club for a relatively short spell (indeed, only two of the famous 79ers made fewer overall appearances) but his contribution has never been forgotten, with success in the 1980 Gold Cup further adding to his status as a Hall of Famer.