|Full name||Clayton Rodney McDonald|
|Rovers apps (goals)a||6 (0)|
|Date of birth||26 December 1988|
|Height||6 ft 6 in|
|21 January 2013 from Port Vale (loan)
|a League appearances and goals only|
Last updated by Gasheadsteve on 23/05/2013
Defender Clayton McDonald joined Rovers on loan from Port Vale in January 2013, when the team were sitting in last place in League Two and in genuine danger of being relegated out of the Football League.
Unfortunately for him, his arrival coincided with a regular back line being established which had shored up the team's previously leaky defence, a defensive line which didn't include him. Manager John Ward opted to keep faith with the existing players rather than include McDonald in the lineup, and as a result his chances to impress during the first two months of his stay were extremely limited, being restricted to just two substitute appearances.
He didn't make his full debut for The Gas until 6 April, when a two-game suspension for Tom Parkes meant he was drafted into the starting eleven for a 1–0 victory over AFC Wimbledon. He went on to make a total of six appearances before returning to his parent club after the final game of the season.
Clayton worked his way up through Manchester City's youth setup, eventually earning a professional contract with them in 2008. He made a handful of loan appearances for Macclesfield Town and Chesterfield during his first season in the senior ranks, but it wasn't until he joined Walsall on loan early in the 2009–10 season that he started playing regular first team football.
After twice having had his temporary deal at the Bescot extended, the Saddlers announced that they had agreed his permanent signing shortly before the opening of the January 2010 transfer window. He went on to make 40 league appearances for them, scoring once before his release in the summer of 2011.
His next club was Port Vale, where he signed a six-month contract in July 2011, the club being reluctant to offer him a longer deal due to doubts over his fitness. Bigger problems were to lie ahead for him however, and shortly after signing for The Valiants he was arrested and charged with rape following an incident at a hotel a couple of months earlier. The trial ran until April 2012, during which time he continued playing football, and although he was acquitted, his close friend Ched Evans was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.
After playing well for the first half of the 2011–12 season, in spite of his off-the-field problems, he was rewarded with a contract extension until the summer, and was later offered a further one-year deal, taking him up to the end of the 2012–13 campaign. After beginning his second year as a regular part of Port Vale's first team, new arrivals at the club let to him being displaced, and he was eventually allowed to join Bristol Rovers on loan from January 2013 until the end of the season. Following his return from loan, McDonald was released by The Valiants.
|2008–09||→Macclesfield Town (loan)||2||0|
|2012–13||→Bristol Rovers (loan)||6||0|
Record against RoversEdit
Clayton has played against Bristol Rovers four times in his career, twice for Walsall (in games that were separated by just three days) and twice for Port Vale. He ended up on the winning side for three of those games, and drew once. Not only has he never lost to The Gas, he has never even conceded a goal.
|6 February 2010||Walsall||Bescot Stadium||0–0|
|9 February 2010||Walsall||Memorial Stadium||1–0 to Walsall|
|25 October 2011||Port Vale||Memorial Stadium||3–0 to Port Vale||Sean Rigg also in Port Vale lineup|
|20 November 2012||Port Vale||Vale Park||4–0 to Port Vale||Subbed off after 78 mins|