Haverty, Joseph ('Joe') (1936–2009), footballer, was born 17 February 1936 in Dublin, the son of Patrick Haverty, a brushmaker, and his wife Margaret (née Walsh). From the age of 14 he played schoolboy soccer with Home Farm (where he was a teammate of Tony O'Reilly) and won schoolboy and youth caps for Ireland. While working as a bakery delivery man, he began his senior career with St Patrick's Athletic in the League of Ireland in 1953, playing as a left-winger on the team managed by the former Ireland international Alex Stevenson (qv) that lost the FAI Cup final 1–0 to Drumcondra in 1954. His skilful play attracted the interest of English clubs and he signed for Arsenal in July 1954. He made his Football League debut against Everton on 25 August 1954, but the diminutive Haverty (5 foot 3 inches and weighing less than 10 stone) struggled with the physical demands of the professional game and played only fifteen league games in two seasons (1954–6). He finally established himself as Arsenal's first-choice left-winger in 1956/7, playing 32 league games and scoring 9 goals. His form was such that in September 1957 he was selected for a London XI in the first leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup semi-final against Lausanne Sports and scored a goal in London's 3–2 aggregate win. He suffered from a back injury for much of 1958, but re-established himself in the 1959/60 season, playing 37 league games and scoring 8 goals. In his seven seasons at Arsenal (1954–61), he played in 122 league games, scoring 26 goals, and using his pace, dribbling and accurate crossing to provide numerous assists for teammates. Arsenal had won the first division title in 1953, but went into a decline afterwards, and Haverty's skill and flair added some much needed sparkle to the club during a lacklustre period. An affable and popular figure, whose jokes and laughter enlivened the dressing room, Haverty regularly engaged in good-humoured banter with opponents and the crowd, and became a great favourite at Highbury, where he was nicknamed 'Little Joe' after a character in the popular television western Bonanza. Like many wingers he could try to beat an opponent too many and run up a blind alley, but such was his willingness to redeem himself and his charm and ready smile that most supporters forgave his occasional lapses in return for the entertainment he provided.
His coaches were not always so indulgent, and in the 1960/61 season he found first-team games hard to come by. After submitting a transfer request, he was sold in August 1961 to first division Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £25,000. In his first season he played 27 times for Blackburn, scoring just once, and the following year moved to third division Millwall (1962–4), making 68 appearances and scoring 8 goals. Haverty was adept at using his pace and trickery to avoid the scything challenges of defenders, but inevitably he took some hard knocks, notably on 24 May 1964 when his ankle was broken after a heavy tackle by George Cohen while playing for Ireland in a 3–1 defeat against England at Dalymount. At the time Glasgow Celtic were interested in signing him and, after regaining his fitness, he went to Celtic on a month's trial in October 1964, playing his first and only game for the club on 17 October (a 4–1 league victory over St Mirren). Celtic, though, chose not to sign him, and in December 1964 he moved to third division Bristol Rovers (1964/5), for whom he made thirteen appearances and scored just once.
Haverty made his senior international debut for the Republic of Ireland against the Netherlands in Rotterdam on 10 May 1955, scoring with a spectacular volley in a 4–1 win. Taking over from Tommy Eglington (qv), he was Ireland's regular outside-left for most of the next eleven years, winning 32 caps and scoring 3 goals, and was often a key figure in the team's best performances. Perhaps his finest game was against the world champions West Germany at Dalymount Park on 25 November 1956, when he ran the German defence ragged and scored Ireland's decisive second goal in a 3–0 win. His individual skills were such that he could stand out even in a beaten team. After a 5–1 defeat by England in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on 8 May 1957, a match report noted Haverty's 'dazzling runs along the wing, his roaming tactics to dispossess even maestro Matthews, and his impudent zigzagging movements' (Ir. Press, 9 May 1957). His performance led the Irish manager, Jackie Carey (qv), to describe him as the best player on the pitch, 'who can become the talk of Europe' (Ir. Times, 11 February 2009). He was again prominent in the return leg in Dublin on 19 May 1957, helping to set up the Irish goal and having a shot cleared off the line, before Ireland's hopes of qualification were dashed by England's last-minute equaliser. Haverty was also outstanding when Ireland beat Austria 3–2 on 13 October 1963 to qualify for the last sixteen of the European Nations' Cup, cutting through the Austrian defence at will and helping to create all three of Ireland's goals.
In the summer of 1965 Haverty returned to Dublin to play for Shelbourne, for whom he played 26 games and scored 3 goals (1965/6). Although he had lost some pace, his skill on the ball had not deserted him, and his sparkling runs down the wing brightened up the domestic game. His presence on the Shelbourne team sheet was sure to add to the attendance, and throughout his career he was much in demand for testimonial and benefit games. While playing in England he occasionally guested for St Patrick's Athletic and other Irish teams, and on his return to Ireland organised several such games for various good causes.
His excellent performances for Shelbourne led to his recall to the Irish team for the European championship game with Turkey at Dalymount Park on 16 November 1966, and he gave a scintillating performance to help his team to a 2–1 victory. The seven international caps he won while playing for Shelbourne made him the club's most capped player; his last came in a 2–0 defeat against Spain in Valencia on 7 December 1966. In February 1967 he moved to the USA to play for Chicago Spurs in the North American Soccer League, although problems with NASL affiliation to FIFA and the expense of flying him back to Ireland meant the end of his international career. He played sixteen games for Chicago Spurs, and another twenty-two for the relocated Kansas City Spurs in 1968. He made six appearances on loan with Drumcondra from January 1969 before joining Shamrock Rovers (1969–71), and finished his League of Ireland career with six games for Drogheda United (1971/2). After retiring from playing he took an FAI coaching course, and in 1975 became assistant manager of Athlone Town. He also coached young players and became a scout for Arsenal, and in June 1975 was still fit enough to take part with past and present international players in a soccer match for charity against the all-Ireland winning, Dublin Gaelic football side at Glenmalure Park.
Haverty never won any major honours, and the bare statistics of his career are not especially impressive. He could be inconsistent, and critics accused him of overly elaborate play when a more direct approach might have served his team better. But, as well as being one of the most skilful footballers ever to play for Ireland, Haverty was a great showman, and those who saw him at the top of his game, twisting and turning defenders inside-out with his trademark feints and dummies, would not easily forget him. His Arsenal teammate Bill Dodgin recalled that 'you could hear wee Joe's feet laughing as he ran' (Ir. Times, 13 September 1977). The wonderful memories he left to Irish supporters led to his inclusion in the FAI's Hall of Fame in 2000. After a short illness he died in Dublin on 9 February 2009, survived by his wife Emma and three daughters. His passing was marked by a minute's applause at the Ireland v. Georgia World Cup qualifier at Croke Park on 11 February 2009.