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George McCartney says leaving West Ham was the biggest regret of his career
Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

George McCartney says leaving West Ham was the biggest regret of his career

Have you ever wondered what happened to former West Ham United star George McCartney?

Well wonder no more because The Athletic has published an in-depth interview with the ex West Ham defender – the first time he has spoken to the press for seven years.

McCartney completely dropped off the radar when his second spell at West Ham came to an end. So much so that it made it impossible for Hammers News to do a ‘where are they now’ article on the former fans’ favourite.

McCartney has lifted the lid on his two spells at West Ham and a silent – until now – struggle with depression that has seen him lose touch with close friend Mark Noble.

Photo by Jason Mitchell AMA Corbis via Getty Images

Former Hammer speaks after seven-year silence

One of the most prominent lines in the excellent interview, though, is that McCartney feels immense regret about leaving West Ham to this very day.

In fact he told The Athletic it was worst decision he ever made and the biggest regret of his career.

“I was getting the better end of the deal (when McCartney signed for West Ham from Sunderland) because West Ham were in the Premier League, but initially I felt a little bit betrayed by Sunderland because of how well I had done,” McCartney told The Athletic.

“Once I got to West Ham, I loved it straight away. I consider it to be the best club I’ve ever played for. Obviously, I had to prove myself but I was playing with better players, the fans were amazing and it didn’t take me a long time to settle.

Photo by Ryan Pierse Getty Images

‘It’s the biggest regret I’ve ever made in football’

“I really enjoyed it and to this day, leaving West Ham in my first spell is the biggest regret I’ve ever made in football. I still bring it up every so often to my wife.”

The first spell he refers to certainly ended in controversial circumstances and directly resulted in then West Ham boss Alan Curbishley resigning.

Fresh from being named the runner up for the prestigious Hammer of the Year award having played in all 38 league games, McCartney was sold back to former club Sunderland.

And Curbishley immediately resigned after he claimed the influential player was sold against his wishes.

Now it appears McCartney did not really ever want to leave West Ham either.

One of the last games McCartney played for West Ham against Man United in March 2014. Photo by Paul Gilham Getty Images

Controversial McCartney sale saw Curbishley walk

He would return on loan under Sam Allardyce in 2011 and won the players’ player award having helped the Hammers gain promotion back to the Premier League.

He penned a permanent two-year deal on West Ham’s return to the top flight but serious knee injuries derailed his career.

And when West Ham released him in 2014 that proved to be it for McCartney’s career.

Now he has spoken out in depth for the first time since in The Athletic which you can read in full here.

In other West Ham news, Hammers co-owner David Sullivan is said to be making it his personal mission to sign £16m man for David Moyes.

And Moyes is reportedly keen on a former Everton man as a plan B in defence.