Paul Bannon, Irish footballer, Died at 59


Paul Anthony Bannon was born on November 15, 1956, and died on February 15, 2016.

He was an Irish professional footballer.

He played most of his career as a centre-forward, moving to centre-half for his last few years in the League of Ireland.

Paul has played in England, Wales, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland, making over 200 career appearances.

Paul Bannon spent the 1987–88 Alpha Ethniki season with PAOK F.C.

He contributed in 20 matches and scored nine league goals, which made him the club’s joint-top scorer.

In the end, he moved on to Greek champions Larissa.

However, their first venture into the European Cup was soon over.

During the 1988–89 European Cup, they were drawn against Neuchâtel Xamax of Switzerland.

The team defeated the Swiss 2–1 in the first leg, but fell to the same scoreline away.

The game went into penalties and Larissa lost 3–0 with Bannon missing the second kick.

Paul Bannon completed the league season with three goals from 11 appearances, and then returned home to Ireland.

The footballer made his League of Ireland debut for Cork City on 3 September 1989, the opening day of the 1989–90 season, against Drogheda United.

Whilst he was signed as a centre forward, Paul went back to centre-half because of Cork’s injury problems, and he was playing in that position when he scored his first league goal, against Dundalk at Oriel Park on November 5, 1989.

The former Cork player and manager Dave Barry added Bannon as a defender in his all-time Cork City eleven, selected in 2004.

Mr. Paul Bannon played in Cork’s first ever European game, against Torpedo Moscow in the 1989–90 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Notwithstanding a virus, he played as the lone striker, and had Cork’s only two chances, one header over the bar, one saved, as they lost 5–0 in Moscow.

He also played twice against Bayern Munich in the 1991–92 UEFA Cup.

However, Paul made four appearances for Cork in Europe.

He scored the only goal of the semi-final, against St Patrick’s Athletic, to put Cork into to the 1992 FAI Cup Final.

The team lost 1–0 to Bohemians.

The Cork final game, Paul scored the winning goal to win the 1992–93 League of Ireland title at the RDS Arena.

Paul Bannon concluded his playing career with Cobh Ramblers, and then assisted Mick Conroy with the running of a youth academy in Cork.

The lucky graduates include Ireland internationals Colin Healy, Damien Delaney and Liam Miller.

Following him spending 17 years working for the FAI.

Paul Bannon passed away at 59 yrs old.