Buncrana, County Donegal born inside left Charlie O’Hagan attended St. Columb’s College in Londonderry to further his education. Whilst playing for the College team (St. Columb’s Court) in 1899-1900 he was persuaded to join Derry Celtic, who were newly promoted to the Irish League. After two seasons there he gave up his studies and moved to Liverpool, where he took up employment in the office of a large Spanish fruit merchant, playing for amateur club Old Xaverians in 1902. He then signed for Everton in March 1903 but didn’t make a first team appearance for The Toffees and moved on to Southern League Tottenham Hotspur in May 1904, where he scored 6 goals in 22 appearances, and where he was described as a “A neat dainty ball player… a born entertainer”. The main goal of note that he scored for Spurs was on the 9th February 1905 when his strike knocked Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup.
O’Hagan won his first caps for Ireland while a Spurs player, playing in a forward line that also included team mate Jack Kirwan. His first cap was in a 4-0 defeat to Scotland at Celtic Park in March 1905, scoring his first goal for his country on his second appearance the next month in a 2-2 draw with Ireland at The Solitude. In all O’Hagan won five caps and scored one goal while at Spurs, before moving to Middlesbrough in July 1906.
He made his Football League debut at Bury that September and scored a week later in a 2-3 home defeat to Manchester City, but after just a few months in the north-east, his appearances limited to only 5 games by the presence of Alf Common, O’Hagan moved to Scotland with Aberdeen for a fee of £175 the same December, with a £10 signing on bonus. He became the first Aberdeen player to be capped by his country, taking his personal total to 11 (with 2 goals), winning his last cap in a 4-0 defeat to England at Park Avenue, Bradford, in February 1909.
O’Hagan thrived on the popularity he gained at Pittodrie and his partnership with outside-left Willie Lennie was regarded as one of Scottish football’s major attractions. He scored 24 goals in 112 appearances for The Dons before moving to Morton for £185 in July 1910, where he scored 22 goals in 55 appearances for the Greenock club before he later had a short spell at Third Lanark from April 1912, making only 3 further appearances before retiring.
O’Hagan served in France with the Highland Light Infantry during the Great War and was fortunate to survive. In July 1920 O’Hagan was appointed manager of Norwich City for their debut season in the Football League in 1920-21. He resigned the following January after The Canaries registered just four wins in their first 22 League games. The same year he was at the centre of some controversy when he suggested that nine members of the Aberdeen team had accepted £15 each to throw a Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic in 1908. He quickly and publicly withdrew and aplogised for the accusation declaring it to be “entirely false, malicious and slanderous,”
Two years later in October 1923 he became manager of Sevilla in Spain where he stayed until the end of the season. He also had a brief spell as coach of Preussen immediately after finishing with Sevilla.
William O’Hagan who played as goalkeeper for Ireland and St Mirren in the 1920s was Charlie’s nephew.