Joey O' Brien


Joseph Martin O’Brien, known as Joey, born on 17th February 1986, is a retired Irish professional footballer renowned for his versatile playing style as a full-back and defensive midfielder. He represented various clubs during his career, including Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United, and Shamrock Rovers. O’Brien also earned five caps for the Republic of Ireland national team between 2006 and 2012.

Joey played youth football for Lourdes Celtic before moving to Stella Maris. He then moved to Bolton Wanderers. O’Brien commenced his professional journey with Bolton Wanderers in 2004 after graduating from his first-year scholarships in 2002. To gain valuable experience, he was loaned out to League One side Sheffield Wednesday during the 2004-05 season, where he made significant contributions, even captaining the team in his final appearance.

Returning to Bolton, O’Brien made his Premier League debut in May 2005 and soon established himself as a regular starter, impressing both fans and managers alike. Despite facing setbacks due to injuries, including a knee injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2006-07 season, O’Brien demonstrated resilience and determination, making a triumphant return to the pitch. He moved from Bolton to West Ham United.

At West Ham, O’Brien showcased his talent and versatility, contributing to the team’s success with his solid performances and crucial contributions. Despite facing challenges such as injuries, he remained resilient and played a pivotal role in helping the club secure promotion back to the Premier League. He moved from West Ham United to Shamrock Rovers.

During his time with Shamrock Rovers, O’Brien experienced a special connection, representing the club he supported as a child in Crumlin. His presence added depth and experience to the team, and his leadership both on and off the field proved invaluable as Shamrock Rovers clinched titles and ended their FAI Cup drought after 32 years.

O’Brien’s versatility and commitment earned him accolades, with managers praising his contributions both in midfield and as a right-back. He showcased his talent at the highest level, representing Ireland at various age levels before earning his senior debut in 2006. Despite facing challenges, including injuries and managerial changes, O’Brien remained steadfast in his pursuit of success.

After retiring from professional football, O’Brien transitioned into coaching, joining Shelbourne as assistant manager in November 2021, working alongside former teammate Damien Duff. His wealth of experience and dedication to the sport make him a valuable asset to the coaching staff.

Off the field, O’Brien is a devoted family man, having married Joanne Martin, an Irish model, in May 2014. Despite facing adversity, including being a victim of fraud in 2016, O’Brien has demonstrated resilience and determination, embodying the spirit of a true athlete both on and off the pitch.

As he continues his coaching career with Shelbourne, O’Brien remains committed to nurturing the next generation of football talent, ensuring that his legacy endures both on and off the pitch. With his invaluable contributions to Irish football and his unwavering commitment to excellence, Joseph Martin O’Brien stands as a true icon of the sport.

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Connection with area: Irish footballer who lived on Sundrive Road, Crumlin