Liam Buckley

Liam Buckley
Personal information
Full name Liam Buckley
Date of birth (1960-04-14) 14 April 1960
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
St Patrick's Athletic (Manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1979 Shelbourne 32 (8)
1979–1981 Shamrock Rovers 52 (20)
1981 Vancouver Whitecaps 8 (2)
1981–1984 Shamrock Rovers 74 (46)
1984–1986 K.S.V. Waregem 25 (5)
1986–1987 Racing de Santander 35 (5)
1987–1989 FC Montreux-Sports ? (5)
1989–1992 Shamrock Rovers 13 (1)
1992–1997 St Patrick's Athletic 55 (11)
1997 Sligo Rovers 5 (0)
1997–1998 Athlone Town ? (?)
National team
1979–1984 League of Ireland XI 4 (0)
1981 Republic of Ireland U21 1 (0)
1984 Republic of Ireland 2 (0)
Teams managed
1997–1998 Athlone Town
1998–1999 St Patrick's Athletic
2000–2002 Athlone Town
2002–2004 Shamrock Rovers
2008–2010 Sporting Fingal
2012– St Patrick's Athletic

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Liam Buckley (born 14 April 1960 in Dublin), is an Irish former professional football player and current manager of League of Ireland side St.Patrick's Athletic.

Playing career

Buckley began his League of Ireland career with Shelbourne and signed for Shamrock Rovers as a full-time player in the 1979 close season. He scored his first goal for the Hoops against his former club at Milltown on 21 October 1979 and he went on to score another seven league goals that season.

On 30 April 1980 he represented the League of Ireland against Argentina at the River Plate Stadium where Diego Maradona scored in a 1–0 defeat.

Buckley played for the Republic of Ireland national under-21 football team in 1981.

Following a spell with Vancouver Whitecaps in the 1981/82 season he finished as Rovers' top scorer with 21 goals and had a trial at Hannover 96. While the following season was a disappointment he still ended up as top goalscorer at Milltown and guested for St Patrick's Athletic in a friendly with Manchester United.[1]

In April 1983 he played for the League of Ireland XI U21s against their Italian League counterparts who included Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Vialli in their team.[2]

The 1983–84 season ended in triumph as Rovers won their first League title in twenty years. Buckley had scored 13 League goals before he broke his collar-bone against Waterford at Milltown on 26 February. However, he returned to action less than six weeks later to score the winner in the FAI Cup semi final replay against Shelbourne.

He made five appearances in European competition for the Hoops.

Buckley was capped at full international level against Poland and in July was transferred to Belgian club K.S.V. Waregem (4451). While there he gained his second international cap against Mexico. With Waregem he reached the semi finals of the 1985–86 UEFA Cup. He made 25 league appearances, scoring five goals.

He was transferred to Racing de Santander on loan for the 1986–87 season and made his debut at the Camp Nou on 30 August. It's a game he fondly remembers: "Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes were making their debut for FC Barcelona and there I was making my debut for Santander. There was a crowd of around ninety thousand and the atmosphere was tremendous and although they beat us 2–0 I think that occasion is the highlight of my career". He later moved to FC Montreux-Sports (November 1987–89) where he spent two seasons.

He came home and signed for Rovers again in 1989 but injuries prevented him from establishing a regular first team place. In his final season in the Hoops in 1991–92 he scored once in eleven appearances.

He then transferred to St. Patrick's Athletic where he went on to win the League in 1996 as assistant to Brian Kerr. Kerr left in December 1996 after a decade at Richmond Park to take up the position of technical director at the Football Association of Ireland.

When he wasn't offered the managers job Buckley left Pats in February 1997 to move to Sligo for the rest of that season and later went on to become player-manager at Athlone Town.

Management career

Buckley guided Athlone to the FAI Cup semi final in 1998 in his first season as player-manager.

After guiding St. Pat's to the League in 1998 Pat Dolan stepped down after one game of the 1998/99 season and appointed Buckley as manager. Pats retained their league title but two bad defeats in Europe followed by indifferent domestic form saw Buckley sacked in December 1999.[3]

He then had another spell as Athlone's manager before being appointed Shamrock Rovers manager in April 2002.[4]

In his first season he guided Rovers to the FAI Cup Final and 3rd spot thus ensuring European football again after the UEFA Cup losses to Djurgårdens IF.

Famous wins over Odra Wodzisław saw Rovers become the first Irish side to win home and away since he himself had played and scored against Fram Reykjavik in 1982.[5]

However Rovers form dropped alarmingly after the UEFA Intertoto Cup games and a seventh-place finish had the fans worried. In the 2004 season with practically a new team Rovers again struggled and Buckley was sacked in September 2004.[6]

In 2008 Buckley took on the role of manager of Sporting Fingal a brand new team that were awarded a licence to play in the League of Ireland First Division. They finished a creditable 3rd in their first season in senior football. In their second season in 2009, Buckley guided Fingal to promotion through the play-offs,[7] and capped off a superb campaign by also winning the FAI Cup.[8]

In January 2010 he was awarded the SWAI Personality of the Year.[9]

Buckley was appointed St.Patrick's Athletic manager for the 2012 season on 2 December 2011.[10] In his first season back at the club, with his side playing some of the best football the club had seen since his own playing days at the club, he guided the Saints to 3rd place in the League of Ireland (only six points off 1st place), Runners-Up in the FAI Cup and through two rounds in the UEFA Europa League to make it to the Third Qualifying Round (knocked out by German giants Hannover 96).


As a player

As a manager

St Patrick's Athletic Managerial Record

As of 20 November 2016
Career P W D L GF GA GD Win % Loss % Notes
2012– 240 129 44 67 399 246 153 53.8% 19.7% Won 2013 League of Ireland, 2014 FAI President's Cup, 2014 Leinster Senior Cup, 2014 FAI Cup, 2015 League of Ireland Cup, 2016 League of Ireland Cup


  1. The Irish Times Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. The Irish Times Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "St. Pat's sack Buckley and Tracey managerial team". RTÉ. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  4. "Buckley named as Shamrock Rovers manager". The Irish Times. 4 April 2002. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  5. "Buckley and Rovers part company". RTÉ. 7 September 2004. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  6. "Bray Wanderers 2–2 Sporting Fingal". RTÉ Sport. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  7. "O'Neill dreams come to a head". The Herald. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
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