Coad, Patrick (‘Paddy’) (1920–92), soccer player, was born 14 April 1920 at 100 Lower Yellow Road, Waterford city, son of Michael Coad, sailor, and Johanna (‘Joanie’) Coad (née Morrissey). As a schoolboy at De La Salle College he excelled at hurling and table tennis, winning a schoolboy Munster title in the latter, but football took precedence. He began his career in 1936 with the junior club Corinthians at the age of 16 before moving to Waterford United the following year. He made an immediate impact at Waterford, but after one season was transferred to the Lurgan (Co. Armagh) club Glenavon, when Waterford experienced financial difficulties. In 1939 the coming of war precipitated his return to Waterford, and in the 1941/2 season the team finished joint top of the League of Ireland with Cork United; a play-off was required to establish the champions but the Waterford players refused to take part in the match because they had not been awarded a bonus for finishing top of the league. The FAI punished them by suspending Waterford from the league, taking responsibility for the remainder of the players’ contracts, and placing them at the league's disposal. Coad joined Shamrock Rovers in January 1942 but was initially only permitted to play in cup matches. He made his debut against Brideville in the first round of the FAI cup, lining out at inside-forward. From 1943 he was an established member of the Rovers team and was a regular inter-league player for the League of Ireland, making twenty-six appearances between 1943 and 1955. With Jimmy Dunne (qv), he was the only professional player in the Shamrock Rovers team.
In September 1946 he cut short his honeymoon in order to make his debut for Ireland at Dalymount Park against England. He played eleven times for Ireland, scoring on three occasions. A gentleman both on and off the field, he rarely committed a foul. In a game against Dundalk on 7 January 1952 he informed the referee that the ball had not entered the goal legally, although the official had awarded him the score. On the death of Jimmy Dunne (1949) Shamrock Rovers’ owners, the Cunninghams, asked Coad to become coach of the team. He supplemented his coaching knowledge by attending courses in England and, in what was a new departure, began picking the team without the influence of the traditional football committee. Under his guidance the team dominated the Irish football scene for the next decade. Popularly known as ‘Coad's colts’, they won the league championship on three occasions, the FAI cup twice, the Leinster senior cup four times, and the Dublin city cup four times. It was a surprise to many that Paddy Coad never played in England, but he had forged a good working relationship with the Cunninghams and the success of his Rovers’ team may have made the idea of playing abroad less attractive.
To many observers the highlight of his time with the club was his performance against the English champions Manchester United – the famous ‘Busby babes’ – in the European cup in 1957. The superior fitness of the English side was the difference between the teams, but Coad's team matched their opponents for skill. In January 1960 he returned to manage Waterford, playing until he was 42 years of age, and was manager when the club won its first league championship in 1966. Regarded as one of the best and most skilful players to play in the League of Ireland – size fourteen boots notwithstanding – he scored a total of 126 league goals, placing him eleventh in the all-time list. In 1981 he became the third player to be voted on to the Texaco hall of fame, and in 1991 became one of the three inaugural members of the League of Ireland hall of fame.
After his professional playing career Coad worked for twelve years as a commercial traveller for B. P. Ganley Ltd, a bacon and pork distributor in Waterford. He and his wife, Bud, had two daughters and a son. He was ill for six months prior to his death, 8 March 1992, at his daughter's home, 37 Woodlawn Grove, Waterford.