James McClean's wife Erin has opened up on the impact of abuse directed at her husband, admitting that she once watched a match in fear after an anonymous person said they would be bringing a gun to the game.
The Ireland international has been active on social media in recent days, highlighting what he believes to be a soft attitude towards vitriolic and threatening messages aimed his way.
He was speaking in response to what appears to be a stronger stance taken by social media companies towards insults - be they racist or otherwise - sent to footballers via Instagram, Twitter or other forums.
McClean feels that anti-Irish invective sent his way is not taken seriously. His stance towards the poppy has made him a target for fans across the water, yet the most recent post he made public was from an individual suggesting he was going to burn downhis house with everyone inside in it.
That prompted Erin, the mother to his three children, to post her own experiences.
Leicester City's Marc Albrighton challenges Stoke City's James McClean. Photo: Reuters
"There isn't a day that goes by that either one of us don't receive a message of some sort, whether it be a threat or else telling us to get the f**k out of England," she wrote on Twitter.
"And to be honest it's gotten to the point where it doesn't affect us. However we have three very young children who are now at an age where they know and understand these things being said.
"Of course we have tried as hard as possible to keep them away from it all but there has been times where we are out shopping and there are people making remarks towards James in front of the kids. They don't deserve this.
"People ask me 'How do you deal with it?' and I always say we're well used to it but why should we be? Why should we have to read messages like that daily for almost a decade.
"We've been spat at, shouted at, nights out have been ruined by people making remarks towards him. I even remember someone threatened him saying they were taking a gun with them to a certain match and I can still remember watching that match in absolute fear on the TV.
"Every single day I'm online I'm seeing support of those who have been abused online by the big media outlets and rightly so. No one should be able to sit at a computer or phone and type these messages without some form of consequences.
"But for James it always seems the media (bar a select few) and have always bashed him when he's done anything."
She went on to reference the extent to which his poppy decision is brought into everything he does, even if it's a good news story.
"People may say he brings it onto himself and he doesn't help himself but he has only ever done something to react to the abuse he has received first," she continued, with an indirect reference to some mistakes the player has made on social media.
"Imagine having to take the abuse constantly and never getting the help or guidance in how to deal with it? He has been punished each time he has reacted and he has accepted that.
"People may not like him and that's completely fine, you do not need to like someone, but sending messages about his kids and family, yet he's not allowed to react? Unfair.
"James is truly a good person. He loves nothing more than chilling at home with his kids. He can react to situations for sure but he never initiates them.
"Many don't understand his beliefs and that is completely fine we don't expect you to understand but those people who judge him for that do not know or try to understand where we grew up (she also hails from Derry) and the history of our city.
"If they did, they would see past his decision and judge him solely on his football.
"But the internet is a scary place and anyone can write a threat to someone. My concern is if only one of these people throughout the years really meant it.
"What happened to being kind? It only works when it suits a specific narrative. Some people can only take so much abuse given towards them and so many unnecessary and tragic things have happened in recent years from people on the receiving end.
"We're lucky we can see past it and we have some of the best support from family, friends and strangers."
The FAI also released a missive to say they had been in touch with McClean.
New CEO Jonathan Hill said: “The FAI remains committed to safeguarding all of our players against any form of abuse on any social media platform. To abuse or threaten James or any player because of his nationality should not be tolerated by society. Unfortunately, such behaviour is all too common now on social media.
“Only last week we commended the stance taken by English football against the abuse of footballers across all social media channels and we are examining how best we can take a similar stance.”
The statement added that 'under the leadership of Intercultural Programme National Co-ordinator Des Tomlinson, the FAI is currently working on new Racism and Discrimination policies which will be presented to Board in the coming weeks.'
Tomlinson said: "The latest incident involving James and his family highlights how important this work is and why football needs to take action.
“In recent times many of our players have been victims of social media abuse, hate speech and threats including Jonathan Afolabi, Cyrus Christie and James. It is not acceptable and I will assure James of our full support as he deals with this.”