Home Football English Football Tributes Pour In After Irish Ex-Footballer Paul McCarthy Passes Away Aged Just 45

Tributes Pour In After Irish Ex-Footballer Paul McCarthy Passes Away Aged Just 45

Roy Essandoh and Paul McCarthy.

Former Brighton, Wycombe Wanderers and Oxford United defender Paul McCarthy has died of a suspected heart attack, aged just 45 years old, according to Talksport.

Cork-born McCarthy, who played at youth level with Roy Keane, was a former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international and played over 400 league games in the lower divisions of English football.

He started his career as a trainee with Brighton & Hove Albion and went on to make over 200 appearances for them between 1989 and 1996. After that he moved to Wycombe Wanderers, where he spent a mildly successful seven seasons.

Possibly his biggest on-field achievement came at Wycombe, as part of the team who made it to the semi-final of the FA Cup in the 2000/01 season.

10 Mar 2001: Dean Sturridge of Leicester holds off Paul McCarthy of Wycome during the match between Leicester City and Wycombe Wanderers in the AXA FA Cup Sixth Round at Filbert Street, Leicester. Digital Image. Mandatory Credit: Ross Kinnaird/ALLSPORT
Dean Sturridge of Leicester holds off Paul McCarthy of Wycome during the match between Leicester City and Wycombe Wanderers in the AXA FA Cup Sixth Round at Filbert Street, Leicester. Mandatory Credit: Ross Kinnaird/ALLSPORT.

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In 2003, he moved to Oxford United on an initial loan deal before making the move permanent a few months later. After a season and a bit at Oxford, he dropped down to non-league level with Hornchurch.

That was a move which didn’t last very long and he then signed for Ebbsfleet (then Gravesend & Northleet) in November 2004. He stayed with Ebbsfleet until 2013, was captain when they won the FA Trophy in 2008, and had a spell as player-assistant manager.

As an international, he never quite reached the level for a call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad. However, he made several appearances for the Under-21s and was part of the squad which appeared at the FIFA World Youth Championships in 1991.

Tributes have poured in for McCarthy on Twitter, with former clubs among those sending their condolences.

Perhaps the most poignant tribute was made by former Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish, for whom McCarthy was club captain and assistant manager.

About Peter Reynolds

Peter is a keen sports fan and freelance writer, who mixes the two whilst drinking copious amounts of tea. Football is his passion, although he enjoys everything from boxing to darts and even a bit of strongman. Can often be found parked on his sofa at 3am watching wrestling.