50 Facts About Martin O'Neill


Martin O'Neill was capped 64 times for the Northern Ireland national football team, captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup.


Martin O'Neill has managed Grantham Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Norwich City, Leicester City, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland.


Martin O'Neill guided Leicester City to the Football League Cup final three times, winning twice.


Martin O'Neill became Republic of Ireland manager in 2013 and led them to qualification for the 2016 UEFA European Championship for the third time in the nation's history, beating the reigning world champions, Germany in the process.


Martin O'Neill left the role with assistant Roy Keane by "mutual agreement" in November 2018.


Martin O'Neill was appointed as Nottingham Forest manager in January 2019 but left six months later.


Martin O'Neill was born in Kilrea, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1952.


Martin O'Neill was the sixth child of nine siblings, and has four brothers and four sisters.


Martin O'Neill's father was a founding member of local GAA club Padraig Pearse's Kilrea.


Martin O'Neill played for both Kilrea and Derry at underage level as well.


Martin O'Neill played Gaelic football while boarding at St Columb's College, Derry, and later at St Malachy's College, Belfast.


Martin O'Neill signed for Nottingham Forest in October 1971, leaving Distillery and quitting his university studies.


Martin O'Neill went on to play an integral role in Forest's golden era.


Martin O'Neill went on to make a total of 17 league appearances that season, scoring twice, but could not prevent his side's relegation from the First Division in 1972.


Under Clough's management, Martin O'Neill helped Forest gain promotion to the top flight in 1977, won the league title and League Cup a year later, followed by further League Cup success a year later.


Martin O'Neill was dropped to the substitutes bench for Forest's first European Cup victory over Malmo in 1979 after failing to fully recover from an injury, but he played in their 1980 win over Hamburg.


Martin O'Neill attempted to make a comeback in 1984 with Chesterfield, but only played part of a reserve game before being forced off with a knee injury after 20 minutes.


Martin O'Neill only managed to take part in two reserve games for Fulham, before retiring as a result of his cruciate ligament injury in February 1985.


Martin O'Neill first represented his country in an amateur international against Scotland at The Oval in February 1971.


Martin O'Neill was then a regular for Northern Ireland, captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup in Spain which reached the second group stage and included defeating the host nation in Valencia.


Martin O'Neill played 64 times and scored eight goals for Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1984.


Martin O'Neill won the British Home Championship twice as a player, in 1980 and 1984.


Martin O'Neill became manager of Wycombe Wanderers in February 1990.


Martin O'Neill played in the Martin O'Neill XI side, along with George Best, in the last match to be played at Loakes Park.


Martin O'Neill won the FA Trophy with Wycombe in 1991 and 1993.


Under Martin O'Neill, Wycombe reached the Conference League Cup final twice.


Martin O'Neill left Leicester on 1 June 2000, taking over from the team of John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish to become manager of Celtic, who had finished runners-up to Old Firm rivals Rangers in both of their previous seasons; in the season just gone, they had finished 21 points behind the champions.


Martin O'Neill was then touted as a potential successor to Alex Ferguson, who had announced he was to leave Manchester United in 2002.


On 25 May 2005, Celtic announced that Martin O'Neill would resign as manager to care for his wife Geraldine, who had lymphoma.


Under Martin O'Neill, Celtic won 213, drew 29 and lost 40, of 282 games played, and he was the most successful Celtic manager since Jock Stein.


Martin O'Neill was introduced as the Aston Villa manager at a press conference on 4 August 2006.


In October 2007, Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner said that he would not stop Martin O'Neill from leaving Villa if he was offered the vacant post of England manager.


Martin O'Neill decided to prioritise Champions League qualification above all else, fielding a virtual reserve side for a UEFA Cup game against CSKA Moscow which was lost.


On 9 August 2010, Martin O'Neill resigned as manager of Aston Villa with immediate effect.


On 3 December 2011, Martin O'Neill signed a three-year contract with the Premier League club Sunderland, the team he had supported as a boy.


Under Martin O'Neill, Sunderland began to improve dramatically with four wins from his first six games, including one over league leaders Manchester City.


Sunderland had failed to secure victory in the eight matches leading up to Martin O'Neill's departure, winning only three points out of a possible 24 during that spell.


Martin O'Neill was confirmed as the new Republic of Ireland national football team manager on 5 November 2013.


Martin O'Neill was joined by former team captain Roy Keane as his assistant manager.


On 7 June 2016, Martin O'Neill signed a contract extensions until the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.


In June 2016, Martin O'Neill was criticised for using a derogatory term to describe LGBT people.


The National LGBT Federation called on Martin O'Neill to withdraw the remarks and apologise, noting that Martin O'Neill's behaviour could only have a detrimental effect on attempts to tackle homophobic prejudice in sport.


Martin O'Neill apologised for the derogatory remark a number of days later.


In January 2018, Martin O'Neill signed a new two-year contract with the FAI after previously verbally agreeing to the contract in October 2017.


On 21 November 2018, Martin O'Neill parted company with the FAI.


Martin O'Neill guided the club to a ninth-place finish in the Championship.


Martin O'Neill's fascination began with the James Hanratty case of 1961.


Martin O'Neill has worked in television as an analyst for BBC and ITV at the World Cup, the European Championship and on UEFA Champions League matches.


Martin O'Neill was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1983 New Year Honours for services to association football, and promoted to Officer of the same Order for services to football in the 2004 New Year Honours.


Martin O'Neill was awarded the Nottingham Lifetime Achievement Award on 3 November 2013 for his services to football and achievements with Nottingham Forest.