Garry O'Connor: Wikis

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Garry O'Connor
GarryOConnor 2009 pre-season cropped.jpg
Personal information
Full name Garry Lawrence O'Connor
Date of birth 7 May 1983 (1983-05-07) (age 26)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Birmingham City
Number 8
Youth career
Salvesen Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2006 Hibernian 138 (46)
2000 Peterhead (loan) 4 (1)
2006–2007 Lokomotiv Moscow 33 (7)
2007– Birmingham City 49 (9)
National team
2002– Scotland 16 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:08, 28 December 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:08, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Garry Lawrence O'Connor (born 7 May 1983 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish professional footballer who currently plays for Birmingham City. He is also a regular member of the Scotland national team squad.

Contents

Club career

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Hibernian

O'Connor made his debut under manager Alex McLeish in April 2001 as a substitute against Dundee,[1] his only appearance that season. The following season saw O'Connor making just four appearances by Christmas. The departure of Alex McLeish to Rangers and the arrival of new manager Franck Sauzée saw O'Connor feature more regularly in the first team. He scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Celtic in February 2002,[2] and although Sauzée was sacked later that month, O'Connor continued to feature in the first team under Sauzée's successor Bobby Williamson. O'Connor went on to score a further seven goals that season, including goals in five consecutive games between March and April.

Following a period in which he struggled to fulfil his early promise, the arrival of manager Tony Mowbray at Hibs in May 2004 led to improved form for both O'Connor and the team as a whole. Hibs' 2004–05 campaign, in which they finished third in the Premier League, led to speculation that many of their talented young players would move abroad, or to the Old Firm. With O'Connor firmly establishing himself in the Hibs team, he won a recall to the Scotland squad and once again began to be linked with a move away from the club. O'Connor formed a formidable partnership with Derek Riordan, and between them they scored 42 goals that season as Hibs qualified for the UEFA Cup.

Lokomotiv Moscow

On 26 February 2006, it was reported that O'Connor was set to join Lokomotiv Moscow for approximately £1.6 million. This offer was subsequently accepted by Hibernian, with Tony Mowbray conceding that the personal terms on offer (including a reputed weekly wage of £16,000) were "life-changing for Garry and his family". On 6 March, it was announced that the transfer had been agreed.[3] O'Connor scored a total of 58 goals for Hibs in all competitions and scored in his final Hibs appearance against Falkirk in the Scottish Cup.[4]

On 22 March 2006, O'Connor scored for the first time for his new club, the opening goal in a 2–2 draw with Spartak Moscow in a Russian Cup tie. He opened the scoring for his side against Torpedo Moscow in a 4–1 win on 14 May. In the 2006 season, he scored seven league goals and a cup goal in the 29 matches he played in (although only on the field for the full 90 minutes in five matches – he averaged 58 minutes of playing time per match), and was yellow-carded once. In Moscow he formed a partnership with Russian international Dmitry Sychev, although Dramane Traoré, the Mali international, threatened his position.

On 27 May 2007, O'Connor came off the bench to score the winning goal for Lokomotiv Moscow in the Russian Cup final against city rivals FC Moscow. The extra-time goal, coming in the 109th minute, was enough to seal a 1–0 victory for the railway team, and provided a measure of redemption for O'Connor, who struggled to settle into life in Russia, and was repeatedly linked with a return to British football.

Birmingham City

O'Connor warms up before a 2007 friendly against Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.

O'Connor completed a £2.7m move to Birmingham City on 28 June 2007,[5] and scored his first goal for the club in his first appearance, on 15 August 2007 against Sunderland in a 2–2 draw.[6] However, he lost his place, and manager Alex McLeish told him he needed to get fitter to return to the starting eleven.[7] He had to wait until January 2008 for his second league goal, an equaliser against Arsenal.[8] He missed several games in early 2008 through illness,[9] and McLeish told him to "write the season off and come back this season all guns blazing".[10]

O'Connor worked with a fitness coach over the summer, lost weight, and returned to training with a positive attitude towards the coming season and towards his manager.[11] He had a successful pre-season and started well in the Championship with an assist for Kevin Phillips followed by scoring three goals in three games, but then sustained a groin injury.[12] Returning to the team a month later, he produced some good performances and scored three more goals in two games,[13][14] prompting his inclusion in the Championship Team of the Week,[15] before again injuring his groin, this time in the pre-match warm-up at Queens Park Rangers on 29 October 2008, a match which Birmingham went on to lose.[16] He returned to first team action against Doncaster on 14 March 2009. O'Connor's second goal for 10-man Birmingham in their 2-0 win over Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers was voted as Birmingham's Moment of the Season.

International career

O'Connor's impressive form towards the end of the 2001–02 season was noticed by Scotland national team manager Berti Vogts, who gave O'Connor his debut against South Korea in May 2002.[17] O'Connor was then relegated to the Scotland under-21 squad for a few seasons as he struggled to find his best form. O'Connor's improved form in the 2004–05 season earned him a recall to the full squad, and he scored his first Scotland goal in a 2–2 draw with Austria in August 2005.[18]

Withdrawal from Scotland squad

After featuring in Scotland's 1–0 victory over France at Hampden Park on 7 October 2006,[19] O'Connor and the rest of the team were given an evening off before reconvening ahead of the trip to Ukraine for another qualifying match. O'Connor failed to rejoin the squad and was axed from the travelling party by manager Walter Smith.[20] O'Connor subsequently issued an apology through his agent without revealing the exact cause of his failure to appear, while Smith's assistant Tommy Burns announced that O'Connor was unlikely to be frozen out of the squad permanently.

O'Connor said that his wife was unhappy with life in Moscow and he had decided to stay with her rather than return to training.[21] It was later revealed that O'Connor left the squad as his sister Kerry, a recovering drug addict, had attempted to commit suicide. [22]

International recall

He was recalled to the Scotland squad in May 2007 under new manager, and his former boss at Hibs, Alex McLeish. O'Connor was initially drafted in due to squad call-offs but was given a place in the starting line-up for the friendly match with Austria. O'Connor scored the only goal of the game as Scotland won 1–0.[23] This was followed up seven days later with a goal in the 2–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying victory over the Faroe Islands.[24]

O'Connor was then left out of the Scotland squad for almost two years after appearing against the Ukraine in October 2007, but was recalled for the matches in September 2009 against Macedonia and the Netherlands after Kevin Kyle withdrew from the squad due to injury.[25]

International goals

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Num Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 17 August 2005 Graz, Austria  Austria 2–0 2–2 Friendly
2 2 September 2006 Glasgow, Scotland  Faroe Islands 6–0 6–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
3 30 May 2007 Vienna, Austria  Austria 1–0 1–0 Friendly
4 6 June 2007 Toftir, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying

Career stats

Season Club Games Goals
2000–01 Hibernian 1 0
2000–01 Peterhead (loan) 4 1
2001–02 Hibernian 19 9
2002–03 Hibernian 23 7
2003–04 Hibernian 33 5
2004–05 Hibernian 36 14
2005–06 Hibernian 26 11
2006 Lokomotiv Moscow 24 7
2007 Lokomotiv Moscow 9 0
2007–08 Birmingham City 23 2
2008–09 Birmingham City 16 6

References

  1. ^ "French connection wins it for Hibs". BBC Sport website. 29 April 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/1303446.stm.  
  2. ^ "Battling Hibs hold Celtic". BBC Sport website. 1 February 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/1794903.stm.  
  3. ^ "Lokomotiv complete O'Connor deal". BBC Sport website. 7 March 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/hibernian/4752964.stm.  
  4. ^ "Falkirk 1-5 Hibernian". BBC Sport website. 25 February 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_cups/4745628.stm.  
  5. ^ "O'Connor completes Blues move". Birmingham City FC. 28 June 2007. http://www.blues.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10412~1056936,00.html. Retrieved 2 November 2008.  
  6. ^ "Birmingham 2-2 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 15 August 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/6941801.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  7. ^ "O'Connor told to get fit". Sky Sports. 26 December 2007. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_3005443,00.html. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  8. ^ "Games played by Garry O'Connor in 2007/08". Soccerbase. http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=16926&seasonid=137. Retrieved 21 February 2009.  
  9. ^ "Fulham Reserves 2 Birmingham City Reserves 2". Birmingham Mail. 5 March 2008. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/birmingham-city-fc/birmingham-city-fc-news/2008/03/05/fulham-reserves-2-birmingham-city-reserves-2-97319-20560390/. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  10. ^ Colin Tattum (17 July 2008). "Garry O'Connor impressing the boss". Birmingham Mail. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/birmingham-city-fc/birmingham-city-fc-news/2008/07/17/garry-o-connor-impressing-the-boss-97319-21357466/. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  11. ^ Colin Tattum (18 July 2008). "Garry O'Connor will show his true worth". Birmingham Mail. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/birmingham-city-fc/birmingham-city-fc-news/2008/07/18/garry-o-connor-will-show-his-true-worth-97319-21366940/. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  12. ^ Gordon Waddell (28 September 2008). "Tattoo much to bare for O'Connor". Sunday Mail. http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/sport-news/scottish-football/english-football/2008/09/28/tattoo-much-to-bare-for-o-connor-78057-20757350/. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  13. ^ "Blues boss applauds O'Connor show". BBC Sport. 22 October 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/b/birmingham_city/7683873.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  14. ^ "McLeish delighted over O'Connor". BBC Sport. 28 October 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/birmingham_city/7695186.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  15. ^ "Team Of The Week (27 October 2008)" (PDF). The Football League. 27 October 2008. http://www.football-league.co.uk/staticFiles/9a/19/0,,10794~137626,00.pdf. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  16. ^ Colin Tattum (29 October 2008). "Lee Carsley: Birmingham City will bounce back". Birmingham Mail. http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/birmingham-city-fc/birmingham-city-fc-news/2008/10/29/lee-carsley-birmingham-city-will-bounce-back-97319-22143865/. Retrieved 31 October 2008.  
  17. ^ "South Korea humble Scotland". BBC Sport website. 16 May 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/hi/team_pages/south_korea/newsid_1988000/1988667.stm.  
  18. ^ "Austria 2-2 Scotland". BBC Sport website. 17 August 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/4134446.stm.  
  19. ^ "Scotland 1-0 France". BBC Sport website. 7 October 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/5397614.stm.  
  20. ^ "Smith dismayed at absent O'Connor". BBC Sport website. 9 October 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6032917.stm.  
  21. ^ "O'Connor 'put family first'". Daily Telegraph website. 14 October 2006. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/sport/2006/10/14/sfnsco14.xml.  
  22. ^ "Sister's suicide bid". Sunday Mail website. 15 October 2006. http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_headline=garry-pain-&method=full&objectid=17933034&siteid=64736-name_page.html.  
  23. ^ "Austria 0-1 Scotland". BBC Sport website. 30 May 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6696543.stm.  
  24. ^ "Faroe Islands 0-2 Scotland". BBC Sport website. 6 June 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6713997.stm.  
  25. ^ "Scotland call up striker O'Connor". BBC Sport website. 31 August 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/8230555.stm.  

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