Date of birth
Republic of Ireland
“It was just one of those scenarios where when it falls to you, 9/10 times, I’d be in the same situation and it’d go miles over the bar. The situation we were in — everything went right for us on the day. And in the end, we got what we deserved.” - Mark O'Brien on THAT Newport County AFC goal.
Mark O'Brien wrote his name in the football history books in the 2016/17 Season when his 89th minute winner against Notts County on the last day of the Season saved Newport County from relegation to the National League.
Mark began his football career in Ireland before he joined Derby County making his professional debut at the Club just 12 months later aged just 16. In that season, he was named Derby County's Academy Player of the Year and Republic of Ireland's U16s Player of the Year.
It was a dream start for the Irish teenager but a routine medical scan towards the beginning of the next season picked up a heart problem which required immediate surgery. Despite a full recovery, taking nearly a season away from football had hampered his progress with the first team. He continued to impress in the youth system, however, and during his 6 years with the Club would go onto make over 30 first-team appearances.
In 2014, he spent a year on loan at Motherwell before transfering permenantly to Luton Town. After two seasons at Luton (including a lengthy loan spell at Southport), then-manager Graham Westley offered O'Brien a contract at County.
O'Brien became a regular first-teamer for The Exiles and became a cult hero when he scored a last minute winner infront of a packed Rodney Parade to keep the Exiles in League Two.
DID YOU KNOW: O'Brien's famous League-status-saving goal was his first ever League goal. His only other career goal was for Southport in 2016.