Jon McCarthy

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Jon McCarthy
Personal information
Full name Jonathan David McCarthy[1]
Date of birth (1970-08-18) 18 August 1970 (age 44)[1]
Place of birth Middlesbrough, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1989 Hartlepool United 1 (0)
1989–1990 Shepshed Charterhouse ? (?)
1990–1995 York City 199 (31)
1995–1997 Port Vale 94 (12)
1997–2002 Birmingham City 123 (8)
2002 Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 4 (0)
2002 Port Vale 8 (0)
2002 Doncaster Rovers 1 (0)
2002 York City 1 (0)
2002–2003 Carlisle United 21 (1)
2003–2004 Hucknall Town 34 (6)
2004–2007 Northwich Victoria 93 (1)
Total 579 (59)
National team
1996–1998 Northern Ireland B 2 (0)
1996–2001 Northern Ireland 18 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Jonathan David "Jon" McCarthy (born 18 August 1970) is a former footballer who played over 500 games in his career, many of which were in the Football League.

A winger, he began his career at Hartlepool United in 1987, before heading into the non-league scene with Shepshed Charterhouse in 1989. He returned to the professional game the following year after signing a contract with York City. He spent the next five years with the club, helping York to promotion via the play-offs in 1993, and twice being voted Clubman of the Year. In 1995 he joined Port Vale for a fee of £450,000. In his first year at Vale Park he was awarded the club's Player of the Year award, and also played in the Anglo-Italian Cup final. In 1997 he was sold on to Birmingham City for £1.5 million. The highlight of a five-year injury-plagued stay in Birmingham would be a League Cup final appearance in 2001. The next year he was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday, before a return to Port Vale was followed by a brief spell with Doncaster Rovers and a cameo return at York City. Settling with Carlisle United, he left the Football League in 2003 to play for non-league Hucknall Town. Hucknall were crowned Northern Premier League champions in 2003–04, and following this success he won a deal with Northwich Victoria. He helped the club to the Conference North title in 2005–06, before he retired in 2007.

Twice a Northern Ireland B international, he went on to win eighteen senior caps for Northern Ireland.

Club career[edit]

Born in Middlesbrough, McCarthy began his career with Hartlepool United on non-contract terms in November 1987 under manager John Bird, making his first team debut at the age of 17 in the last game of the 1987–88 season.[2] He had a short spell outside of the professional game after joining Shepshed Charterhouse of the Northern Premier League in March 1989,[3] while also studying Sports science at the University of Nottingham.[2] Bird persuaded McCarthy to join York City on a part-time contract in March 1990 and he made his debut for the club in a 1–1 draw against Gillingham on 29 September.[2] While still studying at university he signed professional forms with York in March 1991.[4] He was named Clubman of the Year for the 1991–92 season, after which he helped the club to promotion after winning the 1993 Football League Third Division play-off Final at the end of the 1992–93 season.[5] York chairman Douglas Craig revealed the club had turned down a £150,000 offer from Bradford City for McCarthy, valuing him at at least three times that amount.[5] Following a 1994–95 season described as "superb" he was named Clubman of the Year a second time.[5] He played for York for five years and developed a reputation as one of the Football League's foremost right-sided wingers.

He was bought by John Rudge's Port Vale for a fee of £450,000 in August 1995 (this was York's third highest transfer fee received).[5] During his spell with Vale, McCarthy earned plaudits for his league performances and his display in the club's FA Cup tie against Everton.[6] He played in the 1996 Anglo-Italian Cup Final, as Vale lost 5–2 to Genoa. He won the club's Player of the Year award in 1996. He played over 100 games within two seasons at Vale Park before he was snapped up by Birmingham City in September 1997, who paid Vale £1.5 million for his services.

He helped the "Blues" to the First Division play-offs in 1998–99, but lost out to Watford after a penalty shoot-out.[6] They again reached the play-offs in 1999–2000, but McCarthy missed the semi-final defeat to Barnsley after breaking his leg.[6] After his recovery he played in the 2001 Football League Cup Final defeat against Liverpool. Despite breaking his leg three times within five years at St Andrew's[7] he made well over 100 appearances for the club.

He had a one-month loan spell at fellow First Division side Sheffield Wednesday in April 2002.[8][9] Told he had no future at the club by manager and former teammate Steve Bruce, he left Birmingham on a free transfer.[10][11] In August 2002 returned to previous club Vale, who were now in the Second Division. Two months later he was released by Vale in the midst of a financial crisis and moved on to Doncaster Rovers in the Third Division.[12][13][14] The following month he was on the move again, signing with York once again.[15] His fourth club in three months was Carlisle United, joining at the end of November 2002. He remained at Brunton Park for the rest of the 2002–03 season, playing in the 2003 Football League Trophy Final. It was in this tournament that he scored his first goal for the club, in a 2-0 win over Wrexham.[16] His only other goal for the club came in a 1–0 league win over Southend United.[17] However after failing to agree terms with the club he was released in May 2003.[18]

In the 2003–04 season he teamed up with Steve Burr at Hucknall Town, helping them win the Northern Premier League title, making 34 league appearances and scoring six goals.[19] He then followed Burr to Conference National outfit Northwich Victoria at the start of the 2004–05 season.[20] Despite working as a full-time teacher he still managed to play the majority of Northwich's games until the end of the 2006–07 season,[21] at which point he retired from football.

International career[edit]

English-born McCarthy was eligible to represent Northern Ireland on the international stage through parentage, making his debut against Sweden in 1996 while with Port Vale.[5][22] He earned eighteen caps for Northern Ireland from 1996 to 2001.[22] He was capped twice by the Northern Ireland B team, in 1996 and 1998.[3]


After retiring, McCarthy started working for BBC Radio Stoke as a match day reporter for Port Vale in August 2007.[23] He then moved on to Birmingham Radio Station brmb as a commentator on Birmingham City matches with Tom Ross.

During his early 20s he picked up a degree in Sports science from Nottingham Trent University (then Trent Polytechnic).[6] After retiring he used that degree to take up a lecturing at Mid Cheshire College.[6] He is also a qualified UEFA B licence coach.[6]

In January 2014 he was appointed as first team coach at Chester by manager Steve Burr.[24]


with York City
with Port Vale
with Birmingham City
with Hucknall Town
with Northwich Victoria


  1. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 387. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d Jarred, Martin; Windross, Dave (1997). Citizens and Minstermen, A Who's Who of York City FC 1922–1997. Citizen Publications. p. 64. ISBN 0-9531005-0-2. 
  3. ^ a b "Jon McCarthy". NIFG. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Jarred; Windross. Citizens and Minstermen, A Who's Who of York City FC 1922–1997. pp. 64–65. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Jarred; Windross. Citizens and Minstermen, A Who's Who of York City FC 1922–1997. p. 65. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Jon McCarthy". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "McCarthy suffers third leg break". BBC Sport. 18 May 2001. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Owls' double swoop". BBC Sport. 28 March 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Owls release nine players". BBC Sport. 23 April 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "McCarthy released by Bruce". BBC Sport. 3 April 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Birmingham release trio". BBC Sport. 21 May 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Vale release McCarthy". BBC Sport. 1 October 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Clubs in crisis". BBC Inside-Out. 21 October 2002. Retrieved 14 June 2009. 
  14. ^ Oliver, Pete (9 October 2002). "McCarthy joins Doncaster". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "McCarthy back at York". BBC Sport. 27 October 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Carlisle 2–0 Wrexham". BBC. 10 December 2002. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Carlisle 1-0 Southend: FT Report". 4 January 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "McCarthy leaves Carlisle". BBC Sport. 15 May 2003. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Player Details: Season 2003–2004". SoccerFactsUK. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Oliver, Pete (11 August 2004). "Burr mounts double raid". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  21. ^ Oliver, Pete (7 February 2007). "McCarthy's juggling act". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "McCarthy, Jon". National Football Teams. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  23. ^ "Mac Chat". BBC Stoke & Staffordshire. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2007. 
  24. ^ Green, Jim (21 January 2014). "Match report: Woking 0 Chester FC 1". Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 

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