During his time with Aston Villa, McParland got influenced by Jimmy Hogan, later won the FA Cup in 1957, scoring twice in the final against Manchester United but also becoming involved in a controversial incident in which he shoulder-charged (at the time a legitimate form of challenge) the Manchester United keeper after only 6 minutes which left United's goalkeeper, Ray Wood, unconscious with a broken cheekbone.
Wood left the pitch for a period and returned after a while (substitutes had not yet been introduced) but was a virtual passenger in an outfield position for most of the match before returning to goal as United chased the game. He also won the Second Division title in 1960 and the League Cup in 1961 while with Aston Villa. He was on the scoresheet for the second leg of the 1961 League Cup final, when Villa overturned a 2–0 deficit against Rotherham United to win the second leg 3–0 at Villa Park and become the winners of the very first Football League Cup.
Following Aston Villa, McParland joined local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1962. Although he was only there for one season, he did manage to score 10 goals in 21 games. The following season McParland moved on to Plymouth Argyle, his third and final English league club (although he later turned out for Worcester City in the old Southern League), before hanging up his boots.