Andy O'Brien (footballer)

Andy O'Brien (footballer)

Football player infobox

playername = Andy O'Brien
fullname = Andrew James O'Brien
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1979|6|29
cityofbirth = Harrogate
countryofbirth = England
height = height|m=1.94
currentclub = Bolton Wanderers
clubnumber = 31
position = Defender
youthyears =
youthclubs = Bradford City
years = 1994–2001
clubs = Bradford City
Newcastle United
Bolton Wanderers
caps(goals) = 133 (3)
120 (6)
032 (0)
038 (0)
nationalyears =
nationalteam = England U18
England U21
Republic of Ireland U21
Republic of Ireland
nationalcaps(goals) = 001 (0)
001 (0)
008 (?)
026 (1)
pcupdate = 14:18, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
ntupdate = 17:04, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Andrew James "Andy" O'Brien, (born June 29 1979 in Harrogate, England), is an Irish football player who plays in defence. He plays for Bolton Wanderers. He also won 26 caps for Republic of Ireland between 2001 and 2006, and was a member of Ireland's 2002 World Cup squad.

Club career

Bradford City

O'Brien began his footballing career at St John Fisher Catholic High School, Harrogate, under the stewardship of his manager, Max Mills. His talent as a defender was spotted by Bradford City and joined their junior ranks in 1994. He made his senior debut in October 1996 against Queens Park Rangers. He soon became a regular in the Bradford first team, and helped the Bantams to promotion to the FA Premier League during the 1998–99 season.

He was a regular in the Bradford side during its two years in the Premier League, forming a partnership with club captain David Wetherall in central defence. In 2000–01, City were in financial difficulties and facing relegation when Newcastle United bid for O'Brien. After 133 league appearances he moved to St James' Park in March 2001 for a club record £2m fee, equalling the same fee Des Hamilton had also left Bradford City for to Newcastle. [Telegraph & Argus [ Andy goes for £2m] ]

Newcastle United

He quickly became a central figure in the Magpies defence, making more than 170 league and cup appearances in the ensuing four years. His performances also earned O'Brien a call-up to the Republic of Ireland national football team.

Despite several years as a solid defender at Newcastle, Andy suffered from poor form in the latter part of the 2004–05 campaign, as Newcastle finished a disappointing 14th in the Premiership. However, his reputation was such that Portsmouth paid £2 million to bring him to Fratton Park. [BBC Sport [ Pompey complete deal for O'Brien] ]


O'Brien was Alain Perrin's first signing for Portsmouth. Although he started the season poorly, his form improved as the campaign wore on. However injury forced him to miss the conclusion of his first season. He fell down the Portsmouth first-team list with the arrival of Sol Campbell and the good form of club captain Linvoy Primus.

Bolton Wanderers

There were rumours that Sunderland's Irish boss Roy Keane would sign the centre back. [Premiership Latest [ Bolton Wanderers Sign O'Brien from Portsmouth] ] This came after Keane signed many Irish players to represent Sunderland. Instead he signed for Bolton on August 13 2007. [BBC Sport [ Bolton sign O'Brien from Pompey] ] His signing was met with some derision from a minority of Bolton fans, who were baffled at the acquisition of a player who was deemed surplus to requirements by Portsmouth.

However O'Brien quickly settled at the Reebok Stadium and impressed the fans in his first few appearances as part of the Wanderers squad including a dominating performance in the UEFA Cup tie against FK Rabotnicki and in the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur.

O'Brien after captaining the team in a Uefa Cup game against Sporting Lisbon he said that he is having the time of his life at Bolton. [ [,,1004~1261188,00.html O'Brien Loving Life At The Reebok | Bolton Wanderers | News | Latest News | General ] ]

In May 2008, his efforts were recognised by Wanderers supporters when he was named as "The Bolton News" Player of the Season following a poll held by the newspaper. [ [ Andy's our readers top man] ]

On 7 October 2008, O'Brien signed an extension to his contract at Bolton until 2011 and once again reaffirmed his happiness at the Reebok Stadium. [ [,,1004~1414247,00.html O'Brien Boosts Wanderers] ]

International career

O'Brien has dual British-Irish citizenship, and despite representing England at under 18 and under 21 level, [Telegraph & Argus [ O'Brien shines to help England bounce back] ] he elected to represent the Republic of Ireland at under 21 and senior level. [Telegraph & Argus [ O'Brien picked by the Irish] ] O'Brien's performances for Newcastle led to him being called up to the Republic of Ireland national football team, earning his first cap against Estonia in Tallinn in 2001. Since then he has become a regular in the Irish squad, including forming an integral part of their 2002 World Cup squad. He scored his first, and ultimately only, goal for Ireland to give his country a 1–0 win against Portugal on 9 February 2005. [cite news
title=Rep of Ireland 1-0 Portugal
publisher=BBC Sport
date=9 February 2005

After being picked for the squad to face Brazil on 6 February 2008, he did not report for training on 3 February 2008 and Ireland caretaker manager Don Givens received a message from O'Brien announcing his retirement from international football. [cite news
title=O'Brien retirement hits Republic
date=4 February 2008
publisher=BBC Sport
] He played 26 games for Ireland, with his last coming against Cyprus on 7 October 2006.


Bolton Wanderers
*"The Bolton News" Readers' player of the season 2007–08Fact|date=June 2008


External links

* [ Bolton Wanderers Profile] at [ Burnden Aces]
* [ BBC profile]
*soccerbase|id=9719|name=Andy O'Brien

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