Germany, Hesse, Offenbach am Main, 28.01.2024 a EURO 2024 UEFA bal on the green grass - 2024 Germany


With the eyes of the Soccer world focused on Euro 2024 which gets underway in Germany tonight (Friday), one South Kilkenny man who has been enjoying a whirlwind spell is Thomas O’Connor from Tullogher.

In January 2022, Thomas joined up with Wrexham and since then he has been a central part of an adventure that has captured the public imagination particularly with the award winning television documentary Welcome to Wrexham. At time of joining the club Wrexham were playing their trade in the National League, but in the past two years they acheived promotion in consecutive seasons by winning The National League last season while this season they finished 2nd in gaining promotion to League 1.

Wrexham Football Club was bought in 2020 by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and American actor Rob McElhenney, and thus began a fairytale adventure that has brought them on to greater heights both on and off the field

Welcome to Wrexham has attracted a lot of attention and plenty of positive reviews, and the Welsh Club has gained a much higher profile from beyond football as a result of the success of the documentary. The series was renewed for a fourth season in May.

Thomas got off to a positive start with Wrexham, and by the end of the 2021-2022 season he got to play in Wembley as Wrexham reached The FA Trophy Final.

However, they lost 1-0 to Bromley they also lost out 5-4 to Grimbsy Town after extra-time in an epic National League Play-Off Semi-Final, but things were on an upward curve and they would get better over the following two seasons.

Thomas was part of the Wrexham Team that gained promotion back to the Football League at the end of last season with a total of 111 points, a record for the top five divisions of English League Football.

Wrexham had a great run in the FA Cup last season reaching the last 32, and Thomas was among the goalscorers as Wrexham caused a Cup shock courtesy of a 4-3 win against Championship outfit Coventry City in Round 3.

The Tullogher native was on the mark again, as The National League Club were on the verge of another famous Cup victory having led 10 man Sheffield United 3-2 deep into stoppage time. However, Republic of Ireland International John Egan grabbed a last gasp equaliser for The Blades to deny Wrexham victory before going on to win the replay 3-1.

They bounced back though and their National League victory reaped rewards for the investment provided by their Millionaire owners, and they were rewarded by their owners with a trip to Las Vegas as part of the celebrations.

Wrexham enjoyed another excellent Cup run this season as they reached the 4th round of the FA Cup once again, with Thomas scoring the all important goal to put them into the last 32 after they defeated Shrewsbury 1-0.

However, they had further cause for celebration as they finished runners-up to Stockport County and in the process gained promotion to League 1.

Thomas is living the dream with Wrexham, and the past two years have been his most enjoyable since making the move Cross Channel in 2015. He joined Southampton as a 16-year-old 9 years ago, and he spent 6 years with the Saints before moving to Burton Albion in The Summer of 2021 who were managed then by former Dutch International and Premier League striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank.

Just over 6 months after he joined Burton Albion, the Tullogher man was on the move again joining Wrexham in January 2022 and since then he has revitalized his career at the Racecourse Ground where he has been part of an ongoing adventure that is still continuing.

Thomas is one of five Irish players playing with Wrexham along with  former Republic of Ireland International centurion James McClean(103 caps) who joined the club in pre season last year, and the Irish involment has certaintly added increased interest here in Ireland.

2024 has been a year to remember for The O’Connor family in Tullogher. Thomas’s brothers Donncha & Anthony were part of The Tullogher-Rosbercon squad that won The Junior Club All-Ireland Final in January with Donncha playing full-back.

Thomas continued the family celebration with Wrexham gaining promotion to League 1 and having been part of the fairytale story over the past two years that has become a reality, there may yet be more chapters to be written in this glorious Hollywood story.


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