Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Footballer James McClean in fresh poppy row

James McClean
James McClean

Footballer James McClean is at the centre of a new poppy storm after claiming he won’t give in to pressure to wear the Remembrance emblem.

The former Derry City winger, now playing in the Premiership with Sunderland, was sent death threats after refusing to wear a specially-commissioned shirt featuring a poppy last November.

But the 23-year-old Derry native who plays for the Republic insists he has no regrets — and will do the same again.

“You’re not going to please everybody and I don’t mind the abuse; it will only make me play better,” he said.

“People have... their beliefs and I have mine.

“I don’t regret (the poppy decision); come next year I’m going to do the same thing.”

Last summer McClean received sectarian abuse from some Northern Ireland fans following his call-up to the Republic’s Euro squad.

He responded by telling them to watch their own country in the Euros, ending his message with “oh wait ... #mybad #awkward”.

On Friday, Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill expressed disappointment that McClean had returned to Twitter, despite club warnings to stay off the site.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz