David Meyler had to be convinced by his father to sign for Sunderland when he was 17, after being offered more money at Cork City.
Both David and John Meyler were at the #OTBCL Roadshow in Cork and the pair shared the details of how the former Ireland international signed his first professional contract.
“I didn’t want to leave [Cork]. I genuinely didn’t want to leave. I was thinking, ‘I’m living at home with my mum and dad. I’m 17. They’re offering me crazy money.’
I was like, ‘I’m staying.’ He was like, ‘You’re going. You’re going. You’re gone.’ So we went to Sunderland,” David said.
However, as the up and coming footballer was soon to find out, his father was not the greatest at negotiating a raise in wages.
“I’ll never forget. I went in to sign my first professional contract. So they put the offer on the table and my dad was like, ‘Yeah, we’ll have a chat about it and come back to you.’
So I said, ‘Dad, this isn’t what Cork City are offering me.’ He said, ‘I’ll negotiate with them.’
“You’ve got a man who knows nothing about being an agent. So they come back in, I’ll never forget it.
They come back in and he says, ‘Yeah, yeah. This is the offer, yeah? Maybe we add on £500 extra.’ And they went no and he said, ‘Grand. David, sign.’” David said.
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 24, 2019
John, who has managed both Wexford and Cork in hurling, was afraid his son would want to leave Sunderland and come home.
He had an effective but simple solution to stop that from happening.
“We went back and that was it. He said, ‘This is it.’ He shoved a note [under my door] and it had points of what to do on it.
“And he said, ‘You’re not allowed home.’ That’s what he said to me.
“There’s no home for you. That’s what he said. Now, my mum was obviously lovely and my mum would have accepted me home,” David commented.
David Meyler’s move to Sunderland was ultimately a successful one, despite not being a regular starter at the Stadium of Light.
While Meyler didn’t get too many games under his belt for the Black Cats he did go on to build a great career at Hull City and won 26 caps for his country.
Catch the full #OTBCL show on our Youtube channel