Belfast Telegraph

Charity hails James McClean for latest act of generosity

By Donna Deeney

Republic international footballer James McClean has donated his commentary fee from Eir Sport to the Ryan McBride Foundation - his latest act of generosity to the charity set up in memory of the former Derry City captain.

Gareth McCay, brother-in-law of Ryan, who passed away suddenly in March 2017, said the surprise windfall which arrived last Thursday initially had them stumped, as it wasn't immediately clear who had donated the money.

Mr McCay said the low-key way in which the donation was made was typical of the Stoke City star and his wife Erin, who have done so much to raise the profile of the charity and its work.

Mr McCay added: "We had no idea the money was coming to us, which is typical of James, who didn't contact us to say the money was coming.

"The money came into our account from Eir Sport, which baffled us because we couldn't understand why Eir Sport would make a spontaneous donation to us, but then we saw the message from them saying it was donated on behalf of James McClean.

"We figured out it was his fee for a game he commentated on in September.

"James has helped the foundation in so many ways already, either financially or by donating to various auctions, even at times when we haven't approached him. At our annual dinner last year, he not only donated tickets for an Ireland match with access to the players' lounge, he along with Erin turned up at the event and bid on the items.

"At one stage James was outbidding others, but then Erin stepped in and outbid him, so between the two of them we were able to raise so much money."

He added: "James' continued support has meant so much to the whole family as well as the foundation.

"When Ryan passed away there were so many people paying tributes, but James has been among the few to remain constant in his support since then and that has meant so much.

"James grew up with a similar background to Ryan and he has the same passion about giving something back to the community that was so important to Ryan.

"Having his name associated with our foundation is something we just couldn't put a price on.

"He has helped raise the profile and prestige of the foundation, which has helped us do so much, and we are always thankful for that."

Belfast Telegraph

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