Paul David McShane (born 6 January 1986) is an Irish footballer who plays as a defender for Hull City and the Republic of Ireland national team.
McShane won the 2003 FA Youth Cup with Manchester United. He had stints with Brighton & Hove Albion, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland before his transfer to Hull City. He worked his way into the Republic of Ireland national team, making his debut in 2006. He was then called in from the international wilderness to the Irish squad for UEFA Euro 2012.
Born in Kilpedder, County Wicklow, McShane started his career with Newtown Juniors, as well as playing for Greystones United and his secondary school, St. David’s. He later joined St Joseph’s Boys, a club based in south Dublin.
In the summer of 2002, he signed for Manchester United. In December 2004, he was loaned to Walsall, where he played four league matches and scored once against Sheffield Wednesday. He played for Manchester United in the final of the 2003 FA Youth Cup in which they defeated Middlesbrough by the score 3–1.
He played in pre-season friendly matches and was given the squad number 34, but did not make a full debut for Manchester United.
In August 2005, he moved to Brighton & Hove Albion on an initial five-month loan deal. The loan was later extended for the whole of the 2005–06 season. McShane was voted Player of the Season by the supporters, as well as the away supporters’ Player of the Season. He scored the match winner for Brighton in a 1–0 away win at rivals Crystal Palace on 18 October 2005.
On 10 August 2006, McShane and fellow 2003 FA Youth Cup winner Luke Steele moved to West Bromwich Albion on a permanent basis in a deal that saw Tomasz Kuszczak join United on a season-long loan with a permanent deal confirmed for the following summer. He made his debut for West Brom in a 3–0 win over Leyton Orient in the League Cup on 24 August 2006. His goal against Leeds United in the FA Cup on 6 January 2007 sent Albion on their way to a 3–1 victory. It was the first of three goals he scored in 42 appearances for the club.
On 26 July 2007, McShane joined Sunderland for an initial £1.5 million fee. McShane’s first game for the Black Cats ended in success – his performance helping Sunderland to a clean sheet and a 1–0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
On 29 August 2008, Sunderland accepted a loan offer for McShane from Hull City, who were newly promoted to the Premier League. While playing for Hull, he scored the opening goal at Anfield in a league match versus Liverpool on 13 December 2008. His last game during his loan spell for Hull was an FA Cup victory over Newcastle United on 14 January 2009, as he was recalled to Sunderland by manager Ricky Sbragia.
On 30 August 2009, McShane rejoined Hull on a permanent transfer for an undisclosed fee. On 16 February 2011, he joined Barnsley on a two-month loan, but Hull were given the option to recall him after 28 days.
On 13 January 2012, McShane joined Crystal Palace on a one-month loan. McShane’s loan at Palace was extended until the end of the 2011–12 season on 31 January 2012.
The 2012–13 season started more positively for McShane than his previous few seasons at Hull as he enjoyed regular appearances under new manager Steve Bruce, often being deployed as part of Hull’s new system of a three man defence. He scored his first goal in over four years on 1 December 2012, shouldering the ball home to help Hull to a 2–1 victory at Nottingham Forest. More solid performances at the heart of the Tigers’ defence followed for McShane in 27 appearances that season, until he was ruled out for the rest of the campaign with ankle ligament damage suffered in a game, again against Nottingham Forest. With his contract running out at the end of the season, this injury put McShane’s long-term future at the club in doubt. However McShane returned to the team unexpectedly, perhaps typically, before the end of the season. On 4 May 2013, McShane started on the final day of the season in a match against Cardiff City, a game which the Tigers had to win to guarantee promotion to the Premier League. In the 63rd minute of the game, an inswinging corner from Robbie Brady was met by the right foot of McShane, who saw the ball nestle in the corner of the net to give his team the lead. This meant the Irishman had potentially scored the goal to promote Hull (although Watford’s subsequent loss to Leeds meant they achieved this regardless). In the aftermath of the game, Stephen Quinn, talking of his team mate, said “Mac’s my age and I want to be like him. I want to structure my life like him. He dedicates his whole life to playing. He’s had knock-downs in the past but that’s the measure of the man. That’s why I like him even more, he comes back from anything like that. He’s an almighty man who you want in the trenches wherever you go.” Steve Bruce later confirmed that McShane would be offered a new contract for the next season in the top flight. On 8 July 2013 McShane signed a new two-year deal with Hull City.
McShane’s 2013–14 Premier League season started slowly as he was mainly named as a substitute for the opening two months of the campaign, but was finally included in the starting eleven away against Tottenham, a match in which he was successful in keeping the home side out up until a controversial 80th minute penalty. He started the next game, again away at Tottenham but this time in the League Cup three days later, and put in a similarly impressive performance, scoring a bullet header in the 99th minute past a helpless Brad Friedel. He followed this up the following Saturday against Sunderland with another solid display, earning the Tigers a clean sheet in a 1–0 win. It was in this match against his former club that opposition manager Gus Poyet claimed McShane “nearly killed” Sunderland goalkeeper Kieren Westwood in what the referee regarded as a full-blooded but fair challenge for the ball. On 17 May 2014 he played as a substitute in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Arsenal.
McShane received his first senior international call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad from manager Steve Staunton on 25 September 2006, for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers against Cyprus and the Czech Republic. An injury to Andy O’Brien and the suspension of Richard Dunne (the two central defenders that had started the game against Cyprus) meant that McShane was given his first international cap against the Czech Republic on 11 October 2006. The match ended in a 1–1 draw, with McShane being named man of the match. McShane was part of the team that missed out on place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup after being defeated by France in Paris in a play-off, and was the Irish player directly behind Thierry Henry when Henry twice handballed late in extra-time before crossing for William Gallas to score an illegitimate, but accepted, goal.
On 29 May 2012, he was called in from the international wilderness to the Irish UEFA Euro 2012 squad following an injury to Kevin Foley ahead of the tournament.
Eamon Dunphy once compared McShane to Spanish international defender Sergio Ramos, labelling Sergio Ramos “…like Paul McShane on steroids”.
|St Joseph’s Boys|
|2005–2006||Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)||38||(4)|
|2006–2007||West Bromwich Albion||32||(2)|
|2008–2009||Hull City (loan)||17||(1)|
|2012||Crystal Palace (loan)||11||(0)|
|2005–2006||Republic of Ireland U21||9||(1)|
|2006–||Republic of Ireland||31||(0)|