David O'Leary

David O'Leary | PepTalk Expert Speaker
David O'Leary | PepTalk Expert Speaker
Speaker, Former Republic Of Ireland Footballer And Former Leeds United Manager
Learn the secrets of leadership and teamwork from a football legend with David O'Leary, speaker, former football player, and manager.
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David O'Leary | PepTalk Expert Speaker
David O'Leary | PepTalk Expert Speaker
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David O'Leary | Speaker Biography

David O'Leary, born on May 2, 1958 in London, is a former football player and manager. He started his career at Arsenal, playing for their junior side Reds United before joining Arsenal as an apprentice in 1973. O'Leary quickly rose through the ranks, making his debut for the first team in 1975 and becoming a constant presence at centre half for Arsenal for nearly a decade. He was known for his elegant and stylish playing style, preferring to pass the ball out of defense instead of clearing it long like most defenders at the time. O'Leary was a key member of Arsenal's 1979 FA Cup-winning team and played in several FA Cup finals and the 1980 European Cup final.

In 1982, O'Leary became Arsenal's captain but was replaced by Graham Rix 18 months later. Despite being no longer a first-choice player, O'Leary played 20 times as Arsenal won the league in 1989. He holds the record for the most appearances for Arsenal, with 722 first-team games. In 1993, O'Leary moved to Leeds United and ended his 20-year association with Arsenal. However, his time at Leeds was plagued by injuries, and he retired in 1995 after playing only 14 games for the club.

On the international stage, O'Leary represented the Republic of Ireland, making his debut in 1976. He played in 46 games for Ireland and scored the winning penalty against Romania in the 1990 World Cup. O'Leary continued to represent his country until 1993, finishing his international career with 68 caps.

After retiring as a player, O'Leary became a coach and manager. He served as an assistant to George Graham at Leeds United before taking over as the first-team manager. O'Leary led Leeds to fourth place in his first season and to third place and qualification to the Champions League in the following season. The highlight of his managerial career was reaching the semi-final of the Champions League with Leeds. O'Leary later managed Aston Villa before moving to the United Arab Emirates to coach Al Ahli.

Currently, O'Leary works as a TV pundit for Al Jazeera's Premier League coverage and has done pundit work for BT Sport's Premier League games. He is available for hire as a speaker for corporate events and can discuss topics such as international football, coaching and mentoring, drive and determination, and performing under pressure. To hire David O'Leary for an event, contact PepTalk.

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