Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Alex McCarthy

Born: 3th December 1989 
Nationality: England 
Position: Goalkeeper 
Royals first-team debut: Reading 1-1 Watford – 19/02/11 
Appearance: 74(+1) 
Goals: 0 

McCarthy’s Story:
McCarthy first stepped into football as a schoolboy with Wycombe Wanderers and Wimbledon before joining the Royals’ Academy on a scholarship aged 16. 

His time with the Academy lasted just over two years, and during that period, he was part of a group that included several future first team players such as Alex Pearce, Gylfi Sigurdsson and to-be club captain Jem Karacan. 

He signed professionally for the club in July 2008, but spent his immediate future on loan to lower league clubs, the most notable spell being with Yeovil during the 2009/10 season. 

Starting 44 times for the Glovers he kept 12 clean-sheets, earning himself a new contract with the Royals that would see him to the end of the 2012/13 season. 

He returned to the club in September 2010, exchanging loan spells at Brentford after a month with another Reading Academy Graduate Ben Hamer. 

In February of that season, he made his debut for the Royals after replacing an injured Adam Federici in the 84th minute of the match against Watford at Madejski stadium. 

With Feds ruled out for six weeks due to knee ligament damage, McCarthy stepped up to the mark, making 15 appearances, with his first start coming in a 2-1 victory over Millwall in front of the Madejski followers. 

Upon Federici’s return to fitness and first choice keeper, McCarthy spent the following season on loan with Leeds, gaining much needed Championship experience in order to challenge for the number one spot on his return. 

The 6’ 4” Academy graduate did just that. Achieving man-of-the-match status for his performance between the sticks at QPR certainly helped his cause, but unfortunately for McCarthy a shoulder injury that game lead to surgery and missing a painstaking five months of football.  

Returning to fitness in time for the fixture against Liverpool in April, he produced another outstanding performance that would preserve his spot in the starting XI for the remaining six games, as well as grant him with a call up to the England senior-team, becoming the first Reading youth team graduate to gain a full England call-up since the Academy era began in 1998. 

Beyond the hoops:

McCarthy left the Royals in the 2014 summer transfer window, opting to join Premier League side QPR with ambitions to rival former England international Rob Green for the number one jersey. 

In July 2015 he signed a contract with Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace, making his debut for the Eagles in thier 3-1 victory at Norwich. Then on 1st August 2016, he joined Southampton on a three-year deal, for an undisclosed fee.