McCombe playing for York City in 2014
|Full name||John Paul McCombe|
|Date of birth||7 May 1985|
|Place of birth||Pontefract, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2006||→ Torquay United (loan)||0||(0)|
|2007||→ Boston United (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:51, 29 November 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
A centre back, he graduated through the Huddersfield Town Academy to make his senior debut in May 2003. Unused in 2003–04, he also rarely featured in 2004–05, 2005–06, and 2006–07. During this time he spent brief periods on loan at Torquay United and Boston United, though he never took to the field for either outfit. He spent the 2007–08 campaign with Hereford United, helping the club to win promotion into League One. He joined Port Vale in May 2008, and after establishing himself in the first team in 2008–09 and 2009–10, he managed to win the club's Player of the Year Award in 2011. He helped the club to secure promotion out of League Two in 2012–13. After leaving Port Vale in May 2013, he signed for Mansfield Town on a free transfer. He left Mansfield for York City in January 2014.
Born in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, McCombe joined Huddersfield Town as a trainee, and was converted from playing as a centre-forward to become a centre-back. He made his league debut on 3 May 2003, coming onto the pitch as a late substitute for Jon Stead in a 1–1 draw with Oldham Athletic at the Alfred McAlpine Stadium. Unused in 2003–04, he had to wait until September 2004 for his next first team appearance. He made a total of seven appearances in 2004–05.
McCombe's only appearances of the 2005–06 season were against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup – where he only played because of injuries and suspensions, against Boston United in the Football League Trophy – when manager Peter Jackson rested all his first-team players, and on the last game of the season against Swindon Town. In between these appearances he spent February on loan at Torquay United, but didn't appear in the first team for John Cornforth's struggling side.
On 15 March 2007, he, along with Hartlepool United's Michael Proctor, agreed to join Boston United on loan. However due to Boston's financial state, Boston Chairman Jim Rodwell was unable to sanction the deals and the players returned to their clubs. He was released by Huddersfield in May 2007, and two months later he signed for Hereford United, ending his eleven-year association with the club.
He began the 2007–08 season as third choice centre-back, but an injury to Dean Beckwith gave McCombe his chance. He turned in a number of impressive performances, preserving Hereford's unbeaten record and scoring his first professional goal from a Kris Taylor cross in a 2–0 FA Cup victory against Hartlepool United. McCombe made 27 league appearances as Hereford gained promotion from League Two, but was dropped for the run-in, in favour of Karl Broadhurst. This coincided with McCombe's mistake in a key fixture against Chester City when he conceded a penalty kick in the last minute for handball, which enabled Chester to draw the match 2–2. He was to make only one more appearance for the club, as a second-half substitute on the final day of the season. In May 2008 manager and chairman Graham Turner confirmed that out-of-contract McCombe would not be offered a new deal.
On 29 May 2008, McCombe agreed a two-year contract to join Port Vale. He claimed one of the reasons he put pen to paper was that having met manager Lee Sinnott 13 years previously, he knew that Sinnott could help improve his game. However he established himself as a first choice centre-back under new boss Dean Glover, but was also told he was too 'nice' and needed to be more aggressive in his defending. Nevertheless, his performances in 2008–09 earned him the chairman's Player of the Year award, as well as the nickname 'Boom Boom McCombe' from fans.
Retaining his first team place in 2009–10, he was transfer listed in late September 2009, along with the entire Port Vale squad, after manager Micky Adams saw his team slip to a third consecutive defeat. However by the end of October 2009 he had played in the opening 18 games of the season, picking up a goal on the way, and was confident of earning a new contract by the season's end. On 12 December 2009, he received the first sending off of his career, following a professional foul on Northampton Town's Adebayo Akinfenwa. This brought to an end his run of 29 consecutive starts, and kept him out of the team for the next six weeks, as manager Micky Adams switched his tactics during McCombe's absence, moving from a 3–5–2 to 4–4–2 formation. He was offered a new two-year contract by the club at the end of the season, which he quickly signed.
He started the 2010–11 campaign in fine form, and his strong performances in November 2010 saw him nominated for the League Two player of the month award. His strong performances continued throughout the season, and he was rewarded with the club's Player of the Year award.
Adams continued to use McCombe in the heart of the Vale defence at the start of the 2011–12 season, however he dropped him from the first team after 11 games in favour of loan signing Liam Chilvers. He marked his return to the first team on 14 October 2011 with the second goal of a 3–0 win over Northampton Town. However he was dropped after the next match, a 4–0 defeat at home to Morecambe, only to win back his first team place the following month after turning down the chance to leave the club on loan. With the loanees back at their parent clubs, Gareth Owen out injured and Clayton McDonald in court, McCombe helped to guide teenage centre-back Joe Davis through the final stages of the season. He agreed to sign a new two-year deal with the club in June 2012.
He formed a solid centre-back partnership with Clayton McDonald at the start of the 2012–13 season. On 27 October 2012 he was sent off for the second time in his career, again against Northampton at Sixfields, as he put in a late challenge on midfielder Alex Nicholls, who managed to score the opening goal of the game just before McCombe made his challenge; it was later confirmed that the tackle had broken Nicholls's leg. Opposition boss Aidy Boothroyd accepted McCombe's apology, and Northampton player Akinfenwa also stated that McCombe was "not a malicious character". McCombe himself picked up an injury on 1 January 2013, damaging knee ligaments in a defeat to Fleetwood Town, and was ruled out of action for several weeks. Vale secured promotion with a third-place finish at the end of the season, with McCombe playing 37 games in a regularly changing four back. Despite still being under contract, he chose to leave the club in the summer.
McCombe signed for Mansfield Town on a free transfer in June 2013, and was described by manager Paul Cox as a "a commanding player who will add knowledge and experience to our defence". He left Field Mill by mutual consent in January 2014, having made only seven starts for Mansfield in the 2013–14 campaign.
McCombe signed for League Two team York City on a two-and-a-half-year contract on 12 January 2014, after his release from Mansfield. He made his debut as an 85th minute substitute for Ryan Jarvis in a 2–0 away defeat to Hartlepool United on 25 January 2014.
Style of play
A solid and efficient defender, in the opposition's box he is a goal threat from set pieces.
- As of match played 29 November 2014.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Huddersfield Town||2002–03||Second Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Hereford United||2007–08||League Two||27||0||4||1||0||0||1[a]||0||32||1|
|Port Vale||2008–09||League Two||31||2||1||0||1||0||1[a]||0||34||2|
|Mansfield Town||2013–14||League Two||5||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||7||2|
|York City||2013–14||League Two||19||3||—||—||2[b]||0||21||3|
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- "John McCombe happy to stay put". The Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent). 4 June 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Northampton 2–0 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- Owens, Daniel (28 October 2012). "Cobblers striker Alex Nicholls sustains double fracture of left leg". Northampton Chronicle. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Johnson, Dave (3 January 2013). "Defender out for at least six weeks and possibly more". Port Vale F.C. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Smith, Pete (31 May 2013). "Centre-back John McCombe leaves Vale Park". The Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent). Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Stags sign experienced defender". Mansfield Town F.C. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Mansfield Town defender leaves League Two club". BBC Sport. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "City Sign John McCombe". York City F.C. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Name: John McCombe". Port Vale F.C. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- Shaw, Steve (31 January 2009). "Why big Mac is good for you". The Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent). Retrieved 31 January 2009.[dead link]
- Shaw, Steve (25 August 2009). "Port Vale: Dodds targets Wednesday start". The Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent). Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Port Vale: McCombe boys prepare for head-to-head clash in Carling Cup". The Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent). 17 June 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
- "Games played by John McCombe in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
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