"I had been there seven years and they wanted another three months to decide if they were going to give me a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) so I asked if I could go and they said yes," McEveley explained.
"I was angry at the time so I just said I didn't want to be there. Looking back it was a difficult decision because if I didn't get another club I could have got stuck and not be where I am now."
Fortunately for the Scotland international, that was not the case.
He was soon snapped up by Blackburn's YTS scheme and within two years he was back at Goodison for Rovers' first team for only the second Premier League appearance of his career.
He said: "It was good going back there. My first game going back to Goodison I think I was 17. I think I had done my one year YTS at Blackburn and I was making my debut at Goodison in the Premier League.
"It was brilliant going back, to be 17 and playing in the Premier League it was like 'look, I could have been doing this for you'.
"Sometimes you just want to prove to people 'I was there and you let me go. Look, I'm doing well for myself'."