Paul McCarthy tributes: It's a sad day for football
LIAM DAISH has led the tributes to Paul McCarthy, who died suddenly yesterday at the age of 45.
McCarthy began his career at Brighton & Hove Albion and made more than 200 appearances before joining Wycombe Wanderers in 1996. The defender spent seven years at Adams Park and was a member of the team that reached the FA Cup Semi-Finals in 2001, scoring in the Quarter-Final win over Leicester City.
McCarthy later went on to play for Oxford United and Ebbsfleet United, where he lifted the 2008 FA Trophy.
The cause of the former Republic of Ireland Under 21 international’s death has not yet been disclosed.
WINNER: Tributes have been made to Paul McCarthy, who has passed away at the age of 45.
A statement from Ebbsfleet United said: “Ebbsfleet United FC are shocked and saddened to learn of the news about our FA Trophy winning captain and former assistant Paul McCarthy, who died suddenly at the age of 45.
“Quite apart from going down in Fleet history as the man who lifted the Trophy at Wembley in 2008, Paul was a well-loved and popular figure throughout his long association with the club.”
Following his departure from the Fleet in 2013 after making 162 appearances for the club during his 10-year stay at Stonebridge Road, he enjoyed a spell at Crowborough Athletic.
A Crowborough statement said: “Paul was always gracious with his time and had a genuine interest in how his local club was doing and when time allowed would come and watch some of the games and offer advice and guidance if asked.
“Paul had time for everyone and was always a pleasure to be around and about with, always smiling and fun to be with. He will be sorely missed by all involved with Crowborough Athletic FC.”
Crowborough Athletic’s current manager, Sean Muggeridge also told the club’s website, said: “I’m so shocked and saddened at the sudden death of Paul. He was a true friend, devoted husband and father.
“He was not just a top player and coach but a real gentlemen and he will be so missed by myself and the club.
“When he walked on to either the training ground, pitch or in to the clubhouse, he was totally respected by everyone and his help that he gave me when I was a player and as a manager was priceless.
“It’s a sad day for everyone in football and my thoughts go out to his family. The players, management and coaches are all shocked at the sad news and we will pay our respects, along with everyone else, at our home game this Saturday against Erith Town.”
Former Fleet boss Daish took to Twitter to say: At a loss for words at the news my skipper, my assistant, my mate Paul McCarthy has passed away. Sleep well big man. R.I.P.”
Daish, later pictured with a glass of Guinness, added: “Paul McCarthy my skipper. I never had a dressing room to manage on his watch, never a squeak came out of it, because of Macca! Cheers pal!”
Former Ebbsfleet chairman Brian Kilcullen told www.ebbsfleetunited.co.uk: “Out of all the players I met, he is up at the top as both a person and player. Really, really sad news.”
Former club secretary Roly Edwards, added: “On top of everything, he was a great family man. All of us that worked with him grew to love him.”
Current Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Tweeted: “Absolutely gutted to hear the news about Paul McCarthy, probably the best centre back and captain I ever played with and a top bloke.”
Former youth team player, Steve Springett added on Twitter: “Absolute legend! RIP Macca. Remember telling him and the gaffer I wanted the number 6 shirt! The look he gave me! #Hero.”
Rest in Peace Macca!