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Republic star McClean's fury as burglars strike while he's on pitch

By Staff Reporter

Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean has hit out at thieves who targeted his house while he was playing on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old from Derry scored to give his club side West Bromwich Albion the half-time lead at the London Stadium against West Ham.

However, second-half goals from Andy Carroll, including an injury-time strike to give the hosts a 2-1 win, turned the game on its head.

Things got worse for McClean when he arrived home to find his property had been burgled.

"When you get home from a last min defeat and your house has been robbed... thieving, smelly b*******! Great night!" he wrote on his Instagram account.

McClean told the Derry Journal that a TV and a £26,000 watch were among the items taken and that the burglars had "wrecked the place".

Several footballers' homes have been hit by burglars while they played in matches.

Wayne Rooney had his home raided by thieves in 2016 during a game for Manchester United while in November, Sadio Mane and Dejan Lovren were targeted as they played for Liverpool in a Champions League game.

The theft comes just weeks after the Republic of Ireland star was named RTE Sport Sportsperson of the Year 2017 after he played a starring role in a memorable World Cup qualifying campaign, which ended after a play-off loss to Denmark over two legs.

McClean was one of the Republic's better players during the campaign, scoring four of their 13 goals including winners in both Austria and Wales.

McClean found himself at the centre of a row when he chose to play for the Republic after representing Northern Ireland at a number of underage levels.

The former Derry City, Sunderland and Wigan winger was also booed by some fans in England over his refusal to wear a poppy, which he linked to his nationalist upbringing in Derry.

Away from the headlines, he has made a number of significant donations to charitable causes in and around his home city.

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