Northern Ireland striker Paul McVeigh spent 3 days on trial at
Norwich in mid March 2000 following the announcement by Tottenham
that he was surplus to requirements. Familiarity with fellow Irishmen
Bryan Hamilton and Adrian
Coote may have influenced the decision for him to head to
Colney. Paul had spent a period on loan with Cambridge earlier
in 1999/2000. Hamilton described Paul as "a good young player
, very bright; I like pacy and energetic players. He's come in
to spend a few days with us, we'll take it as it comes before
we make any decisions on him." With Des
Hamilton and Garry Brady occupying
the 2 loan spots, Bryan Hamilton moved to sign Paul on a contract
until the end of the 2000/2001 season.
Paul had a good game in his debut for the Reserves against Brighton
despite the 2-1 defeat. He had two good opportunities one of which
Paul was impressive for the reserves during 2000/01 scoring eighteen
goals but never made much of the few opportunities he had in the
first team. 2001/02 was a different situation. Replacing the injured
Chris Llewellyn, Paul made himself
a regular in the first team, scoring and setting up vital goals.
As a reward, Paul was called up to the Northern Ireland squad
for the World Cup qualifiers against Denmark and Iceland in September
His impressive form at the beginning of the 2001/02 season led
to an extension to Paul's contract that sees him tied to Carrow
Road until 2004. His form continued throughout the 2001/02 season
with 10 goals in 48 appearances. 2002/03 started well with 4 goals
in the first 4 league games (2 goals in the 4-0 thrashing of Grimsby,
1 goal in the 2-0 win at Brighton and the winner in the defeat
of league leaders Gillingham). This brought the attention of Premiership
side Charlton who were rumoured, according to The Evening Standard
to be preparing a £750000 bid for Paul's services. In March
2003, the Football
Rumours website suggested that Tottenham would attemp to re-sign
Paul as manager Glenn Hoddle felt it was a mistake to have let
him go. Paul finished the 2002/03 season as City's top scorer
netting 15 goals in 41 appearances.
Paul signed a new two and a half year contract with Norwich on
12th January 2003.
Reports in the People on 27th March 2005 suggested that
Paul will depart Carrow Road in the summer of 2005. This became
more likely when Paul was transfer-listed at the beginning of
May 2005. The People then reported on 3rd July 2005 that
Sheffield Wednesday were keen to sign him. However he was taken
off the transfer-list in mid-July 2005 with Worthington impressed
by his commitment to pre-season training and to rectify the other
losses to Norwich's squad
Paul was linked with a switch to Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth
at the end of December 2006 according to reports on the Football
Rumours website. The following month saw him linked with switches
to both Brentford and Nottingham Forest.
On 22nd March 2007, Paul was loaned to Burnley until the end
of the 2006/7 season as he was out of manager Peter
Grant's plans - having made just 6 starts during the 2006/7
season. He was linked at the end of March 2007 with a move to
Charlton. Paul was indeed released by Norwich at the end of the
At the end of July 2007, Paul trained with Italian Serie B side
Pisa and Norwich's Championship rivals Plymouth Argyle. "We
will be having a look at Paul McVeigh, who is currently out of
contract, said Pilgrims boss Ian Holloway. Not
having Kevin Gallen, I would like to have a look at someone else.
I might need someone on that right-hand side, who can do a dual
role if we get some injuries. Paul signed a two year
deal with Luton Town on 10th August 2007. Unfortunately McVeigh
couldn't help Luton avoid relegation to League Two in 2007/8.
Although offered a free transfer, Paul remained at Luton.
McVeigh however could not prevent Luton from being relegated
on 13th April 2009 into the Conference following a goalless draw
with Chesterfield. The 30pts deduction that the club were given
for financial misconduct was too great for the club to overcome.
He was one of five players released on 28th May 2009, along with
Sam Parkin, Dean Morgan, Sol Davis and goalkeeper Dean Brill.
In mid-May 2009, Paul went on trial with the San Jose Earthquakes
in the USA, for whom Darren Huckerby
plays. He then joined Norwich for pre-season training with Bryan
Gunn saying "We've got a new face, old face in Paul
McVeigh who has joined us for pre-season training. He will be
out there with the lads today and he's been involved in the fitness
testing in the last couple of days as well. It's open ended. Paul
and I had a chat during the summer and he told me about his contractual
situation. I said 'Come in and join us for pre-season'. There
are no strings attached either way but if he impresses not only
me, but the other coaches, who knows? It gives Paul an opportunity
to keep his fitness going. I'm sure he'll be speaking to other
clubs and other managers and he's probably got an agent working
for him as well. He's living locally, so it does no harm and it
helps us in terms of numbers, in terms of the training.
McVeigh played in the pre-season matches against Fakenham, Dartford
and Raith Rovers, scoring in the first and last of these fixtures.
Paul was offered and signed a one year contract with Norwich on
23rd July 2009. McVeigh told BBC Radio Norfolk: "I'm delighted.
I just came here to train and now I've been offered a contract,
I'm really pleased." Manager Bryan Gunn said he was impressed
with the 31-year-old during pre-season training. "He's
worked really hard. He's shown all the attributes you'd expect
from a player of Paul's calibre. He's impressed not only me, but
also [assistant manager] Ian Butterworth
and [first team coach] Ian Crook in his
pre-season work. He's worked hard to get this contract."
Paul made 11 appearances during City's successful 2009/10 League
One campaign but his contract was not renewed at the end of the
Paul can be found nowdays commentating on BBC Radio Norfolk and
online at http://paulmcveigh.com/
In June 2013, his book "The Stupid Footballer is Dead"
was published about the psychological strengths needed to become
a successful professional football player