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03rd Nov 2018

James McClean releases defiant statement to the people that boo him for refusing to wear a poppy

Paul Moore

James McClean poppy

“They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman.”

Earlier this week, Stoke City released a statement which clarified their position regarding James McClean’s refusal to wear a poppy.

To the credit of the club, they fully supported the decision of their player and said that: “we recognise that the poppy means different things to different individuals and communities and (like the Royal British Legion) do not believe that anybody should be forced or even pressured to wear the Poppy against their free will. James has informed us that he will not be wearing a Remembrance Day Poppy in our next two games. We respect his decision and his right to follow his own convictions.”

As is the norm, McClean decided not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his jersey for Stoke City’s games against Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest.

The 29-year-old took the same approach at his previous clubs – Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and West Bromwich Albion – and he has previously been extremely articulate about his reasons for doing so.

As for Stoke’s most recent match, McClean was introduced as a second half substitute in the 0-0 draw with ‘Boro and the Derry man received some abuse after coming off the bench.

Earlier this evening, the Republic of Ireland international addressed the abuse via an Instagram post.

He said: “They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken. Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst. To the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank you. To the section of uneducated cavemen in the left hand corner of the Boothen End Stand that want to song their Anti-Irish songs each game and call me a Fenian this and that,  I am a PROUD FENIAN. No c**t will ever change that, so sing away .”

Here’s his post in full.