Crystal Palace had a fantastic season but unfortunately for club captain Paddy McCarthy he missed most of the campaign and will be hoping to make a big impact next season.
Injuries have really ruined his time at Palace but he has always been one of the most consistent performers in the Championship and the way he conducts himself has always been exemplary and it is no wonder he is an influential member of the squad even when he is not playing. Frustratingly though shoulder injuries have really slowed his career and he may have gone further and got international caps for Republic of Ireland.
McCarthy started his career at Manchester City but could not break into their first team and had to get some playing time by going on loan to Boston United where he played 12 league games and performed well enough for them to try and sign him permanently. This move didn’t go through and before he left Manchester City, he had another loan spell away from the club, this time to Notts County.
In March 2005, Leicester City paid £100,000 for his services and he signed a three year contract with the club. He quickly became a fan favourite because of his no nonsense style and after just one season at the club he was named as their captain for the 2006-07. After more impressive performances, his season was ended because he dislocated his shoulder in February 2007. Despite being offered an extended contract he decided he wanted to leave the club before the start of the new season.
Charlton Athletic signed the central defender for £650,000 in July 2007 meaning that Leicester got some good service from him and also a profit which is always a sign of a good signing. But they won’t have been happy with him when he scored his first goal for his new club against his former employers. Manager Alan Pardew said after the goal. “It was a good time for Paddy to score his first league goal for us. But football has these strange quirks. To be fair he has probably been our best player. He defended well and then topped it off with a goal.”
This would be his only season at the club as he moved across South London to Crystal Palace in a deal that saw Mark Hudson move in the other direction and Neil Warnock was happy with this deal. “I’ve chased Paddy for about five years and I’m delighted to get him.” In his first two seasons at the club he struggled with more shoulder problems and did not play as much as he would have liked. However, he was still showing that he was a reliable defender for any Championship team and proved that he could be a threat at the other end by scoring three goals in his first season.
Despite his injuries he was named club captain before the 2010-11 season and this was the start of two fantastic seasons where he played almost every game and in the 2011-12 season he played 50 times in all competitions, however he has not played much at all since then.
The final word can go to former Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway. “He is a wonderful leader and wonderful servant and ambassador for this club. I can honestly say I have never seen anyone work as hard as him to get himself back.”