|Full name||Jonathan David McCarthy|
|Date of birth||18 August 1970|
|Place of birth||Middlesbrough, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|2002||→ Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||4||(0)|
|1996–1998||Northern Ireland B||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
McCarthy played as a winger and made around 700 appearances in his career, many of which were in the English Football League. Twice a Northern Ireland B international, he went on to win 18 senior caps for Northern Ireland. 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 £450,000 fee. 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 Premier Division 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. He was appointed as first team coach at Chester in January 2014, and after a brief spell as caretaker, became manager of the club in May 2016, before he was sacked in September 2017.
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. He had a short spell outside of the professional game after joining Shepshed Charterhouse of the Northern Premier League in March 1989. Bird persuaded McCarthy to join York City on a part-time contract in March 1990 and he made his debut in a 1–1 draw against Gillingham on 29 September. While still studying at university he signed professional forms with York in March 1991. He was named Clubman of the Year for 1991–92, after which he helped the club to promotion after winning the 1993 Football League Third Division play-off Final at the end of 1992–93. 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. Following a 1994–95 season described as "superb" he was named Clubman of the Year a second time. 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 £450,000 fee in August 1995, which at the time was York's record transfer fee received. During his spell with Vale, McCarthy earned plaudits for his league performances and his display in the club's FA Cup tie against Everton. 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 manager Trevor Francis in September 1997, who paid Vale a £1.5 million fee for him.
He helped Birmingham reach the First Division play-offs in 1998–99, but lost out to Watford after a penalty shoot-out. They again reached the play-offs in 1999–2000, but McCarthy missed the semi-final defeat to Barnsley after breaking his leg. After his recovery he played in the 2001 League Cup Final defeat against Liverpool. Despite breaking his leg three times within five years as a Birmingham player, 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. Told he had no future at the club by manager and former teammate Steve Bruce, he left Birmingham on a free transfer. In August 2002, McCarthy 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. On 7 November 2002, he was on the move again, re-joining York on non-contract terms after training with the club. His fourth club in three months was Carlisle United, signing on a one-month contract on 29 November 2002. He remained at Brunton Park for the rest of 2002–03, 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. His only other goal for the club came in a 1–0 league win over Southend United. However, after failing to agree terms with the club he was released in May 2003.
In the 2003–04 season he teamed up with Steve Burr at Hucknall Town, helping them win the Northern Premier League Premier Division title, making 34 league appearances and scoring six goals. He then followed Burr to Conference National outfit Northwich Victoria at the start of 2004–05. He helped Northwich win the Conference North title in 2005–06, and therefore promotion back into the Conference National. Despite working as a full-time teacher he still managed to play the majority of Northwich's games until the end of 2006–07, at which point he retired from football.
Born and raised in England, McCarthy was eligible to represent Northern Ireland on the international stage through parentage, making his debut against Sweden in 1996 while with Port Vale. He earned 18 caps for Northern Ireland from 1996 to 2001. He was capped twice by the Northern Ireland B team, in 1996 and 1998.
Style of play
In January 2014, he was appointed as first-team coach at Conference Premier club Chester by manager Steve Burr. He took over as caretaker manager with Ian Sharps as assistant after Burr was sacked on 7 April 2016, and after three wins from four matches that ensured Chester's survival in the National League, signed a one-year contract as permanent manager in May. In January 2017, he signed a new two-and-a-half year contract. However after a poor start to the 2017–18 season, with the club picking up just one win from the opening eight league games, he was sacked on 6 September 2017.
McCarthy returned to former club Port Vale in November 2017, working as new manager Neil Aspin's fitness coach. Aspin was a former teammate at Port Vale, but said "It is not a case of jobs for the boys, it is because Jon is well qualified for the job that I want him to do, to deal with the fitness of the players and also to be another coach". However he left the following month to take up a new post at Southport as assistant manager to Kevin Davies.
After retiring, McCarthy started working for BBC Radio Stoke as a match day reporter for Port Vale in August 2007. He then moved on to Birmingham Radio Station brmb as a commentator on Birmingham City matches with Tom Ross.
During his early 20s, he attained a degree in sports science from Nottingham Polytechnic. After retiring, he used that degree to take up a lecturing at Mid Cheshire College. He is also a qualified UEFA A licence coach.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Hartlepool United||1987–88||Fourth Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|York City||1990–91||Fourth Division||27||2||3||0||0||0||1[a]||1||31||3|
|Port Vale||1995–96||First Division||45||7||6||1||2||0||8[e]||2||61||10|
|Birmingham City||1997–98||First Division||41||4||3||0||—||—||44||4|
|Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||2001–02||First Division||4||0||—||—||—||4||0|
|Port Vale||2002–03||Second Division||8||0||—||1||0||—||9||0|
|Doncaster Rovers||2002–03||Football Conference||1||0||0||0||—||—||1||0|
|York City||2002–03||Third Division||1||0||0||0||—||—||1||0|
|Carlisle United||2002–03||Third Division||21||1||2||0||—||4[d]||1||27||2|
|Hucknall Town||2003–04||NPL Premier Division||34||6||—||34||6|
|Northwich Victoria||2004–05||Conference National||35||0||1||0||—||0||0||36||0|
- Appearance(s) in Associate Members Cup
- Two appearances in Football League Trophy, three in Third Division play-offs
- Two appearances and one goal in Football League Trophy, three in Second Division play-offs
- Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
- Appearances in Anglo-Italian Cup
- Appearances in First Division play-offs
- Appearances in FA Trophy
- As of matches played 2nd September 2017
|Chester||7 April 2016||6 September 2017||62||19||15||28||30.6|||
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