Danny O’Shea – just 9 games with Arsenal, but success in lower leagues

Danny O’Shea was born on 26 March 1963 and played six league games for Arsenal in the 1982/3 season – Terry Neil’s last full season in charge.

As that is all I knew of him before starting this little delve into the archives I was rather amazed to find that he actually made 461 football league appearances in total, and indeed made a number of non-league appearances after that.

Here is the list of his clubs and games as showing on Wikipedia.


Years Team



1980–1983 Arsenal



1983 → Charlton Athletic (loan)



1983–1985 Exeter City



1985–1989 Southend United



1989–1995 Cambridge United



1995–1997 Northampton Town



1995 → Wimbledon (loan)



1997 Rushden & Diamonds
1997–1998 Aylesbury United
1998–1999 Canvey Island


Danny was born in Newington, came through the youth system at Arsenal and was indeed captain of the youth team, played in a friendly on 20 May 1982 and then played his first game against Birmingham  on 30 October 1982.

In all he played six league games that season, and three cup games – his total contribution to Arsenal as a midfielder.

As we can see he had more success in the lower leagues most particularly in four years at Southend.  Indeed he played for Cambridge during their period of success under John Beck.  In 1989/90 Cambridge ended sixth in the fourth division, but won through the play-offs to gain promotion.  In 1990/1 they won the third division title, for a second promotion.  He was also captain of the team when they played a 6th round tie against Arsenal in 1991.

The following season Cambridge ended fifth in the second division, but lost out in the play offs.  But it had all been too far too fast as in 1992/3 the club were relegated to the third tier, and in 1994/5 were relegated again to the fourth tier.  The club stabilised for a while but then in 2005 came bottom of League Two and left the league.

Danny went to Northampton in 1995 combining the roles of player and assistant manager to the former Cambridge United manager Ian Atkins. After that it was non-league football, and there we lose trace of him.  If you know any more of his life thereafter please do tell.

See also…


The books…

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