John O'Mara

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John O'Mara
Personal information
Full name John O'Mara[1]
Date of birth (1947-03-19) 19 March 1947 (age 70)
Place of birth Farnworth, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1967 Gillingham 0 (0)
1967 Dover (loan) (7)
1967–1968 Margate 16 (5)
1968–1971 Wimbledon 124 (50)
1971–1972 Brentford 53 (28)
1972–1974 Blackburn Rovers 35 (10)
1974 Chelmsford City 12 (5)
1974 Bradford City 3 (1)
1975–1976 Germiston Callies (8)
1976–1977 Margate 16 (6)
1977 Maidstone United (4)
1977–1978 Margate 48 (21)
1978–1979 Dover (11)
1979–1980 Ramsgate (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John O'Mara (born 19 March 1947) is an English former professional footballer who played as a forward. In a nomadic career, he played in the Football League for Brentford, Blackburn Rovers and Bradford City.


Early years[edit]

Born in Farnworth, O'Mara began his career in the youth system at Division Two side Bury, before moving to Division Three side Gillingham in October 1965.[1] He failed to make a senior appearance for the Gills and joined Southern League Division One side Dover on loan in February 1967,[1] scoring seven goals in what remained of the 1966–67 season, helping fire the club to Kent Senior Cup success and promotion to the Southern League Premier Division as champions.[2][3] O'Mara returned to Gillingham at the end of the campaign and departed the club in June 1967.[2]


O'Mara joined Southern League Premier Division side Margate in June 1967.[2] Injury, fitness and disciplinary problems hampered O'Mara's early months with the club and he eventually scored his first goal in a 3–2 victory over Erith & Belvedere on 4 December 1967.[2] He spent much of the season in the reserve team, but managed 16 first team appearances and five goals before being released at the end of the 1967–68 season.[2]


O'Mara joined Southern League Premier Division side Wimbledon in the summer of 1968,[4] having impressed the club's staff with his performance in a match against the Dons while a Margate player in December 1967.[2] He had a prolific spell with the club, scoring 50 goals in 121 games, before departing in March 1971.[2]


O'Mara secured a move to the Football League when he joined Division Four side Brentford for a £1,500 fee in March 1971.[5] He made 9 appearances in what remained of the 1970–71 season and scored two goals.[6] O'Mara was a revelation in his first full season at Griffin Park, scoring 25 goals in 40 games to fire the Bees to promotion to Division Three with a third-place finish.[6] He was presented with the club's Player of the Year award and won the Gallagher's Divisional Footballer of the Year gong, chosen by the managers of all the Division Four clubs.[7] O'Mara made five appearances and scored one goal in the early part of the 1972–73 season,[6] before departing the club in September 1972.[1] He scored 28 goals in 57 games for the club.[5]

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

O'Mara joined Division Three side Blackburn Rovers in September 1972 for a then-club record £50,000.[5] He failed to truly settle at Ewood Park,[7] but still managed 10 goals in 35 league games before departing in the summer of 1974.[1]

Chelmsford City[edit]

O'Mara dropped back into Non-League football and joined Southern League Premier Division side Chelmsford City in the summer of 1974.[2] He scored five goals in 12 league appearances before departing in December 1974.[2]

Bradford City[edit]

O'Mara made a return to league football when he signed for Division Four side Bradford City in December 1974.[1] His time with the Bantams was short-lived, making three league appearances and scoring once in a 1–1 draw with Workington on 7 December.[1][8]

Germiston Callies[edit]

O'Mara fulfilled a personal ambition by moving to South Africa in 1975, having wished to emigrate to the country in 1967, a request which was denied by his parents.[2] He joined National Soccer League side Germiston Callies, playing the 1975 and 1976 seasons with the club.[2]

Return to Margate[edit]

O'Mara returned to Southern League Premier Division strugglers Margate in November 1976, as a favour to manager Les Riggs.[2] He managed six goals in 16 appearances before departing the club in March 1977, after encountering hostility from the Margate supporters.[2]

Maidstone United[edit]

O'Mara signed for Southern League Premier Division side Maidstone United in March 1977, scoring four goals for the club before departing in September 1977.[2]

Third spell at Margate[edit]

O'Mara joined Margate for the third time in September 1977, initially on a game-by-game basis.[2] Now playing Southern League Division One football, O'Mara found his form and scored 19 goals in 35 games, firing the Gate back to the Premier Division as champions.[2] He remained with the club into the 1978–79 season, scoring two goals in 13 appearances (mostly as a substitute), before departing Hartsdown Park for the final time in November 1978.[2] In his third spell with Margate, O'Mara scored 21 goals in 48 games.[2] Across his three spells with the club, O'Mara made 80 appearances and scored 32 goals.[2]

Return to Dover[edit]

In November 1978, O'Mara joined Southern League Division One South side Dover for the second time, having previously played for the club on loan from Gillingham 11 years earlier.[2] Initially appearing for the club on a trial basis, he later signed permanently and scored 10 goals to help Dover back to the Premier Division as 1978–79 Division One South champions.[2][9] O'Mara played into the 1979–80 season, scoring two goals in a 3–0 FA Cup first qualifying round win over Haywards Heath on 15 September 1979,[10] before departing the club in November.[2]


O'Mara joined Kent League Division One side Ramsgate in November 1979, scoring four goals during the remainder of the 1979–80 season.[2] He retired from football after the campaign.[2]


O'Mara made a comeback in 1986 at age 39, turning out for local Margate amateur side Oddfellows, managed by former Margate teammate Ray Summers.[2][11]

Personal life[edit]

An engineer by trade, O'Mara worked as a miner and served his apprenticeship at Chislet Colliery at 1968, delaying his move from Margate to Wimbledon to complete it.[2] When O'Mara returned to Thanet in 1976, he worked at the Betteshanger Colliery.[2] As of 2012, O'Mara was residing in Margate.[2]



Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brentford 1970–71[6] Fourth Division 9 2 9 2
1971–72[6] 40 25 2 2 1 0 43 27
1972–73[6] Third Division 4 1 1 0 5 1
Career total 53 28 2 2 1 0 56 30


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "John O'Mara". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "John O'Mara". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "1966–67". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Players: John O'Mara". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. p. 118. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. pp. 391–392. ISBN 0951526200. 
  7. ^ a b Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. p. 101. ISBN 1 874427 57 7. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "1978–79". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "1979–80". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ray Summers". Retrieved 3 August 2014.