Date and Place of Birth
10th November 1978 - DUBLIN
Transfers to and from Burnley
from BOURNEMOUTH - 16th May 2008
released - 30th April 2008
First and Last Burnley Games
CREWE ALEXANDRA (a) - 6th August 2005
replaced by Kyle Lafferty
SCUNTHORPE UNITED (h) - 26th January 2008
sub: replaced Robbie Blake
BOHEMIAN, BOURNEMOUTH, BOURNEMOUTH (loan from BURNLEY)
LUTON TOWN, ST. PATRICK'S, BOHEMIAN, DROGHEDA,
STIRLING LIONS, MONAGHAN UNITED,
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
I think it is fair to say that things haven't worked out that well for Garreth O'Connor at Burnley after a good start, and it came as no surprise when he was released at the end of his contract.
O'Connor, one of the Bournemouth three, joined the Clarets from the south coast club in May 2005 on the same day as his team mate Wade Elliott. Both had impressed during our FA Cup tie against the Cherries in January of that year and manager Steve Cotterill had monitored them following that game and got the pair of them on Bosman signings.
O'Connor had been with Bournemouth for five years after signing from Eircom League club Bohemians of Dublin but he struggled initially at Dean Court. He was used almost exclusively as a substitute in his first season and there wasn't much change in his second.
However, from the beginning of the 2002/03 season he won himself a regular place in the side for the next three years and was one of the most popular players with the Bournemouth fans as they pushed for a promotion to the Championship. They missed the play offs by one point in the 2004/05 season and O'Connor was one of the players who decided to move on.
Things went well for him at Burnley initially; in fact they went very well. After impressing in the pre-season he was in the starting line up for the first game at Crewe. He certainly made an early impact in the midfield for the Clarets and also scored himself a few goals.
He scored on his home debut against Coventry and a week later at Watford took over penalty taking duties after Gifton Noel-Williams had almost missed the cricket field stand with one. After a poor start to the season had seen us fall to bottom place he twice scored from free kicks as we started to move ourselves up the table. One again Ipswich was followed three days later by one at Wolves. That goal was our first at Molineux in 19 years and proved to be the winner in front of the television cameras.
In four successive games at that time he won the Clarets Mad Man of the Match vote, scoring in all four of them from two penalties and those two free kicks, but these were the only four he won and the early season form soon disappeared and was followed by some very disappointing performances although he did continue to convert the penalties.
Even before Christmas he'd lost his regular place in the side but he won it back to score from the spot in the last game of the year against Sheffield Wednesday and then net in the cup defeat at Derby, this was his first goal other than free kicks and penalties since the Coventry win.
He was still in and out of the side and when he played he was more often than not substituted. When he was replaced at Stoke by his former Bournemouth colleague Elliott during a defeat there in March it proved to be his last start of the season. More than that it proved to be his last ever start for Burnley although he would remain with the club for a further two years.He played in a number of reserve team games towards the end of the season but his form had gone completely and he turned in some shocking performances. There was just one more substitute appearance in the first team, coming on the last day of the season at home to Luton.
In the 2006/07 season his very rare appearances on the pitch were all via the bench. One of them was the FA Cup tie at Reading where he scored in stoppage time. That was his first goal for over a year and a season and a half later remains his last goal.
So out of favour was he that when Steve Cotterill announced his retained list at the end of the 2006/07 season he placed O'Connor on the transfer list with one year of his contract remaining. He moved back to Bournemouth for pre-season and eventually signed on loan with a view to making the move a permanent one.
But it didn't work out. There were injuries and a loss of form and although he started games he never completed a full ninety minutes and was returned to Burnley early with manager Kevin Bond suggesting that he might look at it again if he could recapture both his fitness and form.
Back to Burnley there was soon to be some good news on the horizon for him, or so it seemed. Not having played for so long there were suggestions of a problem between player and manager so when Cotterill departed it was perceived to be a real opportunity to win a place back in the side.
He was immediately given the squad number 21 by new boss Owen Coyle but it made no difference. Not once was he named in the squad of sixteen unless there were not enough other players available, and just once did he make it onto the pitch. That was in the home win against Scunthorpe in January 2008 when he replaced Robbie Blake in the 89th minute.
There was one final piece of action when he played the full ninety minutes in the friendly in February against his old club Bohemians, and from then it was just a continuation of the occasional reserve game.
A week before the end of the 2007/08 season the club released him early to give him a head start in looking for a new club. A player who described his worst characteristic as being an angry man had been the forgotten man of Turf Moor for two and a half seasons. It hadn't worked out for him and neither did it when he dropped back down a division at Bournemouth.
There was summer speculation of a return to his native Ireland and also of a possible move to Doncaster although that proved to be John Spicer. In August 2008, he joined Yeovil on trial and played in a reserve team game.
After trials with a number of clubs, including Yeovil and Luton, he signed a three month deal with Luton on 6th October 2008. He played just seven games including two substitute appearances for Luton with only three of them coming in the league.
He was released at the end of the short term deal and on 5th March he returned to his native Ireland. There had been strong speculation that he would do so last summer with his former club Bohemians linked, but he's signed a deal with Eircom League club St. Patrick's Athletic.
He enjoyed two years in Irish football with St. Pat's, his first club Bohemians and Drogheda but in early 2011 moved to Australia and signed for Stirling Lions in Perth. That didn't last long and he returned to Ireland to play for first Monaghan United and then, for a third time, Bohemian back in Dublin before moving on to Shelbourne.