It wouldn’t be a great surprise, even if you’re a diehard Jambo, if you don’t know who Paul McCallum is.
Having arrived at Hearts in a time of difficulty, the striker didn’t score for the Jambos whilst on loan from West Ham. Now at Eastleigh, he has more National League goals than former Aberdeen icon Adam Rooney. And his side remain firmly in the hunt for a playoff place and potential promotion.
The Hammers to the Hearts
In January 2014, the Hammers loaned McCallum out to Gary Locke’s Hearts. He made his debut in the Scottish League Cup semi-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Easter Road, home of the Jambos’ rivals Hibs.
The game would finish 2-2 despite the Jambos being 2-0 up. Caley progressed 4-2 on penalties, getting the better of their nine man opponents. McCallum missed his spot-kick and this would be the theme of his Hearts career, having failed to find the net whilst in Gorgie.
Edinburgh to Eastleigh
He may have been a part of the Hearts side that prevented Hibs from relegating them at Tynecastle, but it’s fair to say McCallum’s time in Edinburgh was a major disappointment. The fifth of six loan spells from the Hammers, McCallum went on to play for Portsmouth before his West Ham contract expired.
He signed for fellow east Londoners Leyton Orient on a two year deal. They were relegated in a season in which McCallum ended their top scorer. Following Orient’s relegation out the Football League, he wasn’t offered a new contract. He later subsequently signed for current club Eastleigh.
With 25 goals in 42 games, the 25-year-old only trails Flyde’s Danny Rowe in league goals but still averages an impressive goal every 125 minutes.
Adam Rooney’s move from Aberdeen to Salford may have proved ’embarrassing’ at the time for Scottish football. However it’s worth pointing out that somebody who’s doing better than he is at the same level, in a worse team, struggled whilst north of the border.