Wednesday 13 December 2017

Former Ireland U-21 defender McCarthy passes away

Paul McCarthy died on Sunday at the age of 45 Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Paul McCarthy died on Sunday at the age of 45 Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The football community in England and Ireland has been shocked by the sudden passing of Corkman Paul McCarthy.

He died on Sunday of a suspected heart attack at the age of 45.

McCarthy was a childhood team-mate of Roy Keane at Rockmount and the defender went to England before him, starting his career at Brighton.

He went on to make over 500 appearances in the Football League and Conference, also enjoying long spells with Wycombe and Ebbsfleet. The highlight of the ex-Ireland U-21 international's career was being part of the Wycombe team that went on an extraordinary run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 2001.

He scored a goal in their quarter-final win over Leicester that is remembered for the fact that the winner was delivered by Roy Essandoh - a player signed after his agent responded to an appeal on Ceefax.

Both the English FA and the FAI paid tribute to the player, with the latter's CEO John Delaney recalling McCarthy's contribution to the World Youth Championships in Portugal in 1991 in which he scored a goal for Ireland.

Representatives of Wycombe and Brighton also took to social media to express sympathy.

Meanwhile, back at home, Limerick have signed Sunderland defender Tommy Robson on loan ahead of Wednesday's deadline for bringing in new faces.

Robson has made one Premier League start for the Black Cats and has been involved for their U-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy this year.

Finn Harps boss Ollie Horgan has talked Barry Molloy out of retirement, with the midfielder opting to stay on for another year.

"We needed a player of Barry's experience in that position," said Horgan. "He played at the top level with Derry City for many years and did a good job for us in 2016."

Drogheda United have announced the double signing of Ryan McEvoy and Jamie Hickey.

McEvoy's deal will be ratified once international clearance is secured as he has just come back from Australia, where he played for Essendon Royals.

The 26-year-old has plenty of League of Ireland experience after breaking through at Bohemians and then taking in a season at Bray before moving Down Under. Hickey will act as understudy to goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness.

Bohemians have been hit by a setback ahead of the new campaign after key midfielder Eoin Wearen sustained a serious knee injury in training.

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