David John Meyler (born 29 May 1989) is an Irish former professional footballer who played as a midfielder, most recently for Reading, and the Republic of Ireland national team.
He is the son of hurling manager John Meyler. He grew up in Rochestown Rise in Cork and, like his father, played hurling, Gaelic football and football from an early age.
After turning professional at League of Ireland team Cork City, Meyler moved to Sunderland in the Premier League in 2010. He joined Hull in January 2013 after a short loan spell. He has been a full international for the Republic of Ireland since 2012.
He progressed through the youth team of Cork City and signed a professional contract in 2008. He made ten appearances for Cork in the League of Ireland at the age of nineteen, with his debut in a cup game against Cobh Ramblers.
Meyler joined Sunderland on 25 July 2008 for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £250,000 which has risen close to £500,000 after appearances and his first Republic of Ireland senior call-up. He became their third summer signing and followed the footsteps of former Cork City teammate Roy O'Donovan by moving to the Stadium of Light. However, it was not until a year and a half after joining Sunderland that Meyler made his first professional appearance for the club, starting against Blackburn Rovers on 28 December 2009. In his third appearance for Sunderland, at Portsmouth on 9 February 2010, Meyler received a straight red card just minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute. He suffered serious cruciate ligament damage against Manchester United on 2 May 2010, that was feared would leave him sidelined for as long as 12 months. However, he made a quicker recovery than expected, making his comeback for Sunderland's Reserves against Liverpool Reserves, on 2 November 2010. Manager Steve Bruce insisted Meyler would not be rushed back to first team action. Surprisingly, he returned in an away match at Fulham, featuring for 52 minutes in a 0–0 draw. On 5 January 2011, Meyler pulled up suddenly and was stretchered off in Sunderland's away match at Aston Villa. It was revealed after the game by Bruce that Meyler suffered cruciate ligament damage to the same knee as before. It was later announced by Sunderland that Meyler had a scan on the knee and had torn his medial ligament. This ruled Meyler out for another 10 weeks at least rather than 6 months which was first feared. Meyler returned to the Sunderland bench for their defeat at Birmingham City on 16 April 2011.
Meyler continued to be eased back to fitness by Sunderland in the 2011–12 season, playing in several reserve fixtures before making a cameo substitute appearance in the 2–2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on 1 October 2011. He also came on as a late substitute against Aston Villa and Manchester United. Meyler's first appearance under Martin O'Neill came as a 63rd-minute substitute in the 4–1 win at Wigan Athletic on 3 January 2012. Meyler made his first start of the season at Stoke City on 4 February, and was involved in controversy when Robert Huth received a straight red card for a challenge on him. Sunderland went on to win 1–0, and Stoke manager Tony Pulis was unhappy with Meyler's reaction: "I think Robert commits himself them pulls out, and I don't think he actually touches Meyler, or whatever his name is, and I'm really disappointed at the player's reaction... I don't think Robert actually touches the lad, and the way he goes down and rolls around, for me he's done it for one reason and that was to get him sent off." Meyler did not start another game for the rest of the season, although he frequently appeared as a substitute.
On 8 November 2012, Meyler was reunited with former manager Steve Bruce as he went out on loan to Hull City until 1 January 2013. He made his debut from the bench as a second-half substitute for Jay Simpson in the away match at Cardiff City on 10 November 2012. He scored his first goal for the club on 8 December 2012 when he opened the scoring in the 1–2 win against Watford at Vicarage Road. He scored again in the following game on 15 December, completing a 2–0 win at home to Huddersfield Town. On 8 January 2013, Meyler was signed by Hull permanently on a three-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.