Sunday 20 October 2019

McClean apologises to Stoke fans who did not abuse him

James McClean. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
James McClean. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Stoke City have stopped short of specifying what disciplinary action was meted out to Ireland winger James McClean following his spat with a section of the club's fans.

McClean came under fire for his refusal to wear a poppy at the end of last week's game against Middlesbrough, and hit back on his social media account.

"Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst," he wrote on Instagram.

The 29-year-old was handed a warning for using a profanity in his post and describing some fans as "uneducated cavemen".

Potters boss Gary Rowett, while disturbed at the flak aimed at McClean and his family, branded his response as "ill-judged" and the hierarchy confirmed yesterday that the player had been "dealt with under the club's disciplinary procedure".

"At last Saturday's game a section of our supporters threatened and abused me because of my religious beliefs and upbringing," the Derryman wrote.

"I'm certain that no fair-minded person would regard that as acceptable but I recognise that as a professional footballer, and therefore a role model, I'm expected to tolerate it.

"Whilst I do not believe it is appropriate for me to apologise to those fans who abused me, I want to whole-heartedly apologise to the vast majority of Stoke fans who, although they may have different views, to myself are decent and respectful.

"I sincerely apologise for any offence that I caused them."

Irish Independent

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