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Paddy Coad

Margaret Aylward Dr Edward Barron Philip Barron Denis Cashman Raymond Chandler Paddy Coad Patrick Comerford Donncha Ruadh Val Doonican Sean Dunne Frank Edwards Alfie Hale John M Hearne William Hobson Dr Thomas Hussey Charles Kean John Keane Edmund Leamy D. P. Moran Gen Dick Mulcahy James Nash Peter O'Connor Jas Louis O'Donnell Pádraig Ó Fainín Gilbert O'Sullivan John Redmond Edmund I Rice James Rice, Mayor Lord Roberts V. C. John Roberts Frank Ryan Thomas Sexton Archbishop Sheehan Susan Smith John Treacy Luke Wadding William V. Wallace Cardinal Wiseman Bullocks Wyse Lucien Bonaparte Wyse



Paddy was born in 1920 and was sent to De La Salle school, Stephen Street. His first sporting distinctions were earned at Hurling and Table Tennis; indeed he became a champion of Munster at the latter sport. His great love however was soccer and he joined the local junior club Corinthians, based primarily on the Lower Yellow Road area. His exceptional talent was quickly realised by the local League of Ireland team and he played his first game for the 'Blues' in 1937 when he was only seventeen years old (see photo below). He moved to the Northern Ireland club Glenavon in the following year but he was there only a short while when WWII broke out and Paddy returned to Waterford.  

  He was a star with a wonderful 'Blues' team that tied for the League title with Cork United but the season ended disastrously and in controversy when the Waterford players refused to play (in a dispute over bonus payments) in a once-off game against Cork to decide the Championship. Cork were declared champions and a few weeks later they defeated the 'Blues' in the Cup Final after a replay. Coad signed for the famous Dublin club Shamrock Rovers in 1942 and it was with Rovers that he became a legend in his own lifetime. He transformed play in the League with his tremendous skills; his passing of the ball and his overall generalship showed other clubs the way football should be played and he was responsible, almost single-handedly, for a general rise in standards. Every team tried to match Rovers in the new way forward. 

After he was made their coach, in 1949, Rovers became the dominant force in Irish football. Coad was the master-general and it was said of him that he did every thing at the club but drive the bus. He was known, primarily, as a maker of goals but he did score 126 League of Ireland goals and 41 FAI Cup goals in his career.  He won three League Championships with Rovers (1954, 1957 and 1959); four Cup medals (in 1944, 1945, 1948 and 1956) and three Cup runners-up medals (1946, 1957 and 1958) and he was selected eleven times for Ireland between 1946 and 1952. He played in twenty-four representative games for the League of Ireland, the last in 1955. Coad reserved one of his greatest performances for the European stage when, in 1957, he dominated the European cup tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford. His display that night had to be seen to be believed and it was described as the greatest by an Irish player in England up to that time. And remember - he was 37 years old.  

He returned to live in Waterford and in 1965/66 he coached and managed the 'Blues' to their first League of Ireland championship. Coad is regarded as the greatest Irish player never to have played in England but there are many, in Dublin as well as in Waterford, who will say that there never was anyone as good as Coad. He was a true legend.   

International appearances (11); 1946, v.England; 1947, v.Spain, Portugal; 1948, v.Poland, Spain, Switzerland; 1949, v.Belgium, Poland, Sweden; 1951, v.Norway; 1952, v.Spain 

This is the 1937 Waterford A.F.C. team that Coad joined  when aged 17

Back Row (L to R);  McPherson, "Fatty" Phelan, Wynn, Willie Walsh, Tom Arrigan, Duff Front Row (Lto R);  Paddy Coad, Kennedy, Carr, M. Walsh, Milligan

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