Former Ireland Under-21 international Paul McCarthy dies aged 45

Defender from Cork was a team mate of Roy Keane before career in England

Tributes have been paid to former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Paul McCarthy who died suddenly over the weekend, reportedly of a heart attack, aged 45.

The Corkman, who was a team mate of Roy Keane during their schoolboy days at Rockmount, went on to play in the English league, most notably with Brighton, Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers.

At Wycombe, he played a major part in the club’s 2000/01 FA run in which they beat Leicester City in the sixth round before going out at the semi-final stage 2-1 to Liverpool at Villa Park.

He made it to Wembley a few years later, though, when he captained non-league side Ebbsfleet to FA Trophy success in 2008. He retired a year later but stayed for several more seasons as assistant to then manager Liam Daish.

He was fondly remembered this morning in posts on various clubs’ and fans’ social media accounts this morning with many recalling not only his on-field contribution as a hard tackling defender and team leader but also the warmth of his personality.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is an Assistant News Editor at The Irish Times