McClean bows head during playing of God Save the Queen

McClean during British national anthem
McClean during British national anthem

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has hit the headlines once again after he bowed his head during the playing of God Save the Queen on Saturday.

Derry-born McClean caused a stir in the UK media last year when he declined to wear a poppy to remember the soldiers who had died fighting for the British army during his time at Wigan and this latest incident will also attract the attention of the English media. 

McClean, who hails from a staunchly nationalist area of Ireland and whose family and friends were deeply affected by the Troubles, was the subject of abuse on social media sites on Saturday night following his stance.

McClean issued a statement last year explaining why he did not wear a poppy to commemorate remembrance day in the UK and it read:

I am not a war monger, or anti-British, or a terrorist or any of the accusations levelled at me in the past.

I am a peaceful guy, I believe everyone should live side by side, whatever their religious or political beliefs which I respect and ask for people to respect mine in return. Since last year, I am a father and I want my daughter to grow up in a peaceful world, like any parent. 

I am very proud of where I come from and I just cannot do something that I believe is wrong. In life, if you’re a man you should stand up for what you believe in.