John O'Hare - Q&A

Living now: Derby
Born: 1946
Occupation now: Part-Time Chauffeur


As a youngster, who was the biggest influence on your career?
My schoolteacher, Jacvk Gilroy. And my father.

How did you come to join Sunderland?
Straight from St Patricks High School in Dumbarton (the same school as Nick Sharkey) Charlie Ferguson was chief scout and had his contacts up there.

How do you remember your Sunderland debut?
Against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We were well-beaten 3-1. I think John Hollins made his debut. This made me realise how big a difference first team football was from the reserves!

What was your most memorable match as a Sunderland player?
The three games against Leeds in the FA Cup run of 1967. 0-0 at home, 1-1 at Elland Rd (where I scored ours) & then losing the 2nd replay at Boothferry Park.

And the worst?
I remember a bad day at West Brom where we lost 4-1. It was early in the 65-66 season and we were really hammered.

Which do you consider your best goal for Sunderland?
I can remember scoring a good goal to beat Nottingham Forest when they were title contenders back in 1967.

Who was the best player you player alongside at Sunderland?
Although it was very early in my career, I would still pick Charlie Hurley, George Herd and John Crossan. Monty was an outstanding 'keeper.

Who was the best you played against?
Bobby Charlton would be top of my list.

What’s the greatest moment of your playing career?
Making my debut for Scotland vs Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in Belfast. We won 1-0, with me getting the winner.

Who do you rate as the best manager you player under?
That would be Brian Clough. But, I would have liked to work with Alan Brown for longer than I did.

What was the funniest incident you recall during a game?
Dave Mackay explaining to a referee exactly who he was and why he shouldn't be sent off for flooring David Wagstaff with a left hook. He stayed on!

What was the best part of being a professional footballer?
It was just a really good life. Lots of travel and being paid for something that I loved to do.

And the worst?
I really don't think there were any negatives, being a professional footballer.

Looking back at your playing career, any regrets?
Not on the footballing side, but I should have spent all the spare time furthering my education.

What did you do as your playing career ended?
Various. I ran a pub, a snooker club and worked in insurance. In recent years, I've been scouting for Leicester City and Celtic - working with Martin O'Neill.

What are doing these days?
Part-time chauffeur.

What’s the most important thing in your life at present?
Family.

Favourites

Team (as a kid) - Celtic
Boyhood footballing idol - Bobby Collins
Best friend in football - Too many to mention
Favourite ground (other than Roker) - Goodison Park
Favourite current premiership player - Wayne Rooney
Favourite current premiership manager - Alex Ferguson
Singer - Eddy Reader
Film star - Robert de Niro
Film - Any of the Godfather trilogy
TV programme - Match of the Day
Past-time (except football) - Golf
Food - I like just about everything!
Holiday - Menorca

If you could meet one person in the world, who would it be?
Fidel Castro.