|V/AFL Clubs||Carlton, Footscray|
One of the supreme defenders of his or any era, Paddy O'Brien was recruited by Carlton from Yarraville and went on to enjoy an illustrious, 167 game league career with the Blues over the next thirteen and a bit seasons. He was a regular choice as centre half back in VFL representative teams for much of that time, and was regarded as one of the toughest men in the game, a reputation in which he exulted. On one occasion, after sending the hefty frame of Collingwood's Gordon Coventry crashing to the turf, he is alleged to have added insult to injury by declaring "you won't get toothache where those five teeth were!"
Despite his obvious relish for the physical aspects of the game, Paddy O'Brien was also a superb, clever and dashing footballer. He played in Carlton premiership teams in 1914 and 1915, and captained the Blues in 1924. In 1925 he began the season as Carlton's playing coach, but later in the year he crossed to Footscray, which was making its VFL debut that year. He stayed with the Tricolours until the end of the following season, bringing his final tally of VFL games to 182.