One of Scotlands largest newspapers the Daily Record has given an interesting insight into the background of James McCarthy, who seems to go against the grain of modern day footballers. Everton fans will be interested to see what the new boy will give on the pitch, but they will also be pleased with his off pitch activities too:
SCOTLAND’S most expensive footballer has bought his parents a £1million house.
James McCarthy splashed out on the stunning six-bedroom property as a big thank-you to mum Marie and dad Willie.
It is three miles away from the council house where the footballer was brought up.
James, 22, this week signed for Everton from Wigan for £13million – making him Scotland’s most expensive football export of all time.
Those who know the player are certain he will never forget his roots in Castlemilk, Glasgow.
Former next-door neighbour Billy Torrance said: “James’s parents looked after him well and he is doing the same now.
“Everyone in the street still talks about him. No one has a bad word to say about him.”
Friends and neighbours said James was always destined to hit the big time in football – thanks to the work ethic instilled in him by his parents.
He came through the youth ranks with Hamilton Accies and broke into the first team when he was 16.
It was clear early on that James was something special on the pitch.
But as our picture shows, he was always happy to muck in with the rest of the youth players, whether it was sweeping down the stands or cleaning the senior players’ boots.
James was sold to Wigan in 2009 but he was a regular visitor to his family in Scotland.
Billy, 73, added: “He would always stop and speak to me whenever he was up from England.
“When he was younger, James didn’t drink or smoke, hang about with gangs or anything like that.
“A lot of young boys ran about in big groups and hung about the streets, but he didn’t do that.
“He is a nice chap. The whole family are.”
James bought the house in Thorntonhall, Lanarkshire, for his parents late last year.
Billy added: “It’s not a surprise they moved. You’re not going to stay at a wee rented home down here when your son is playing at that level. When they were leaving, his dad said he was going to miss all the neighbours. He said he’ll never forget his roots.
“You get proud when someone in your scheme does well.”
James’s old PE teacher at St Margaret Mary’s secondary school in Castlemilk also sang the player’s praises.
Elaine McLaren said: “He was brilliant at all activities.
“He could have a big match on a Saturday coming up but he would be in with us doing gymnastics and never once asked to be excused.
“His attitude was brilliant. He was a very popular boy. The kids had a lot of respect for him.
“There was never one bit of trouble with him. The pupils still talk about him and how well he has done. He is an inspiration.”
John Burke, who has worked in the PE department for 35 years, added: “The striking thing about James was his positive attitude. He was never a big-headed boy.
“He has a great personality and a sense of humour.”
Midfielder James agreed that there is no danger his football success will go to his head.
He said in an interview: “I’m not into bling. I won’t be getting tattoos.
“The way I’ve been brought up is brilliant. My family are perfect for me. They wouldn’t speak to me if I came home with a big stud in my ear and they’d never let me get ‘big-time’.”
James’s international allegiances are with the Republic of Ireland.
Yesterday, he joined the squad for training at Malahide.