|Full name||James Michael McEveley|
|Date of birth||11 February 1985|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Left back, Centre half|
|2003–2004||→ Burnley (loan)||4||(0)|
|2005||→ Gillingham (loan)||10||(1)|
|2005–2006||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||19||(1)|
|2008||→ Preston North End (loan)||7||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||6||(0)|
|2012||→ Swindon Town (loan)||8||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:00, 25 April 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Liverpool, England, McEveley started his career with Everton, where he played in the same youth team as Wayne Rooney. McEveley never played for the club and moved to Blackburn Rovers, where he was seen as a potential star of the future. His bulky build made it seem natural that he would be a centre back but ever since his early professional breakthrough, he has been used by successive managers as a left back.
He made his first team Rovers debut against Walsall as part of a 2–2 draw in the League Cup. McEveley hit the headlines after his performance in a League Cup semi-final first leg, where he displayed considerable self-confidence in a 0–0 draw. Much, in particular, was made of his aggressive tackling on Manchester United's David Beckham and a late goalline save from a Ruud van Nistelrooy shot.
To gain competitive match experience McEveley was sent out on loan three times whilst at Blackburn, spending time at Burnley; Gillingham, where he scored once against Stoke; and Ipswich, where he scored once against Plymouth Argyle. He intermittently featured in the Blackburn first team during this time, including in a match against Liverpool in October 2004 when his challenge resulted in a broken leg for Djibril Cissé. Though the challenge was legal and appeared innocuous, the gruesome footage of the incident shocked many.
McEveley has developed a history of unfortunate involvement in serious injuries – to himself and others. McEveley was the other party in a training ground incident that left Hakan Şükür, trialist at Blackburn, with a broken leg. Mark Delaney suffered a serious knee injury after a clash with McEveley. McEveley himself has suffered a few very serious knee injuries.
As he struggled to hold down a regular place at Blackburn, McEveley signed for promotion-chasing Championship side Derby County during the January 2007 transfer window for a fee rumoured to be in the region of £600,000. Replacing previous first choice left back Mo Camara, McEveley settled in well and played regularly for the Rams as they eventually finished third and earned promotion to the Premiership following a 1–0 win over West Brom in the Championship Playoff Final at the newly completed Wembley Stadium. McEveley played regularly for Derby upon their return to the Premiership and scored his first goal for Derby County against Liverpool, the equaliser, in a 2–1 home defeat. He sustained knee ligament damage in the 1–0 loss to Bolton on 2 January 2008 after a heavy tackle from Kevin Davies which was expected to keep him out for 4 months, though he returned 6 weeks later to play in Derby's 2–0 defeat away to Wigan Athletic at the end of February 2008. McEveley scored his second rams goal against Arsenal at Pride Park to bring the scores level to 1–1, only for the game to end in a 6–2 defeat.
McEveley began the 2008–09 season as first choice left back, but lost his place to new signing Jordan Stewart. He joined Preston North End on a one month loan on 29 September 2008, and made his debut in the 2–0 defeat against Swansea, conceding the penalty that lead to the second goal. He returned to Derby at the end of October and a month later was sent out on loan again, this time for a three-month spell with Charlton. He returned from his loan spell early in January 2009 due to injury, and then went on to re-establish himself as the club's first choice left back. On 11 April 2009, in Derby's 1–0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, McEveley broke a metatarsal in his left foot, and was ruled out for the rest of the season.
McEveley started the 2009–10 season as Derby's second choice left back, behind new signing Dean Moxey. McEveley's second league start of the season came against Sheffield Wednesday, playing at centre-half and scoring the Rams' second goal in a 3–0 win. Derby manager Nigel Clough praised McEveley's attitude after the game. However, just two games later, McEveley fractured his cheekbone in the 20th minute of the game against Middlesbrough, and was initially ruled out for six weeks. Shortly after, he had an operation on his cheekbone. It was later revealed that during the operation, McEveley's heart had stopped beating for two minutes. McEveley was transferred to intensive care after his heart was successfully restarted. His heart was scanned and doctors gave him the all-clear, telling him it would not affect his football. He later said:
"It was supposed to be a routine operation to pull the cheekbone out but just before that my heart decided to stop on the operating table. I didn’t realise until I woke up in intensive care when I was wired into machines. When they told me it was a shock to say the least. My mum and dad were in Liverpool and my girlfriend was in the ward. They called her and she was all over the place. My mum was in hysterics and they drove down that night. I don’t know if it was a reaction to the anaesthetic but I’ve had five operations before and nothing has ever happened like that. I’m just happy to be here. I’m looking at life in a different light now. They’ve done loads of further tests on my heart and I’ve had the all clear. I went into training the day after and I think the lads were surprised to see me! When I returned our gaffer was calling me Lazarus!"
Exactly one month after suffering his injury, McEveley returned to the first team on 20 November 2009. He went on to start eight successive games, playing with a mask to protect his cheekbone. McEveley then entered into negotiations to sign a new contract, with his contract expiring at the end of the season. He made his 100th appearance for Derby when he started in the penultimate game of the 2009–10 season against Bristol City before scoring his fourth of the campaign with the opener in a 2–0 win over Cardiff City. This proved to be his last significant appearance in a Derby County shirt as on 5 May 2010 the club stated he would not be offered a new contract, formally leaving on the expiration of his contract on 30 June 2010. He ended with 101 appearances and six goals from his three and a half years with the club.
In July 2012, he joined Swindon Town permanently. He made 71 appearances for the club before being released at the end of the 2013/14 season.
He represented England U-20 at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, but subsequently represented Scotland at the U-21 level and B level. McEveley made his full international debut for Scotland in the 1–0 win over South Africa on 22 August 2007. He won his third cap during the 1–1 draw with Croatia at Hampden Park, significant as manager George Burley's first match with the side. McEveley was a second half substitute in this match. His next appearance in a Scotland squad was not until Craig Levein's first competitive match in charge, as he was called up as a late replacement for the match against Lithuania in September 2010.
- League Two Team of the Week (1): 10/04/12
McEveley is engaged to his fiancée, Carla, with whom he has a baby boy called Harlow James, born 30 November 2009.
- BBC Sport (11 December 2003). "Burnley borrow McEveley". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- BBC Sport (23 March 2005). "Ternent targets more new signings". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Gillingham 2–1 Stoke". BBC. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- BBC Sport (2 December 2005). "McEveley makes Blackburn return". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Ipswich 3–1 Plymouth". BBC. 5 November 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- Harlow, Phil (1 November 2004). "Cisse 'faces anxious injury wait'". BBC Sport website. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Sky Sports (22 December 2002). "Şükür breaks leg".
- Yorkshire Evening Post (9 August 2010). "Barnsley: Jay McEveley interview". Leeds.
- BBC Sport (5 February 2004). "McEveley out for season". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- BBC Sport (6 February 2008). "McEveley poised for speedy return". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- BBC Sport (29 January 2007). "Rams sign McEveley from Blackburn". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- BBC Sport (29 September 2008). "North End sign McEveley on loan". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- BBC Sport (16 April 2009). "McEveley ruled out for the season". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Derby Evening Telegraph (16 October 2009). "Rams boss Clough says McEveley's attitude is spot on".
- BBC Sport (21 October 2009). "McEveley ruled out for six weeks". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Derby Evening Telegraph (22 October 2009). "Rams defender McEveley has operation".
- BBC Sport (22 October 2009). "McEvely's heart stopped during op". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Simon Jones (5 November 2009). "It's a heart-stopper for 'Lazarus' Jay McEveley as he prepares to play for Derby again". The Daily Mail (London).
- "McEveley looking to climb table over festive period". The Derby Evening Telegraph. 3 December 2009.
- The Derby Evening Telegraph (8 December 2009). "McEveley says Rams will be more positive on travels".
- "McEveley and Teale to move on". dcfc.co.uk. 5 May 2010.
- BBC News (6 July 2010). "Barnsley sign former Derby County defender Jay McEveley".
- "Swindon sign Jay McEveley and John Bostock on loan". BBC Sport. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Anglo McEveley switches to Scots". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Rep of Ireland B 0–0 Scotland B". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- BBC Sport (28 August 2007). "McEveley retains Scotland place". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Pattullo, Alan (1 September 2010). "Garry O'Connor and Jay McEveley called in to plug the gaps". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- Burton Mail (8 December 2009). "McEveley – 'I'll play anywhere'".