James Kelly O'Connor was born in Lanark, Scotland on 27th June 1951. He began his playing career in Scottish junior football with Kirkstyles before moving south and signing professional for Bury in July 1970 as a right winger. He made 7 appearances for Bury scoring 2 goals before injury cost him his place with the club and he was released. Having been recommended to Mossley boss Don Wilson he duly signed for Mossley in August 1972 and played in Mossley's first ever Northern Premier League game at South Liverpool. He quickly became a fixture in the side and remained so through the next two seasons making a total of 191 appearances scoring 30 goals before being transferred to Macclesfield Town in May 1975. Following successful spells at Macclesfield and Runcorn, O'Connor played for Droylsden and cost Mossley a three figure fee when Bob Murphy re-signed him in August 1978. By now a central midfield player O'Connor became a key figure in the all conquering Mossley side of the late 70's and early 80's and remained with the club well beyond the break-up of the Wembley team. He was overlooked when he hoped to get the manager's job following Brian Grundy's departure in 1984 but following Tony Steenson's quick departure was offered his chance as Player-Manager in December 1984. He quickly brought stability back to the club but was never going to take Mossley beyond mid-table. The team was treading water by February 1987 and following a shock Manchester Cup defeat by Irlam Town O'Connor and his assistant Paul Webb were dismissed. O'Connor is remembered more for his playing skills than his abilities as a manager and in two spells with Mossley he made an incredible 613 appearances (by far a Club record) scoring 77 goals. He had later spells as a player with Horwich RMI and Buxton and ended his career with Colwyn Bay after taking over as a pub landlord in that area. Now a director of League of Wales Club Rhyl.