Erin's aid | 

James McClean's wife Erin thanks public for support in wake of latest sectarian abuse

“But the support hasn’t gone unnoticed and definitely outshines the negativity for me. So thank you”

Erin and James

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

James McClean's wife Erin thanked the public for supporting her husband after he was subjected to yet more sectarian abuse over the weekend.

Erin backed her husband after his recent account of enduring further chant from the stands during matches in England.

The Ireland international had once again taken to social media to highlight what has been an ongoing problem and the action that needs to be taken by the English FA to stamp it out.

We need your consent to load this Social Media content. We use a number of different Social Media outlets to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity.

McClean played for Wigan against his old club Sunderland last weekend and posted a lengthy Instagram post highlighting the hypocrisy around the FA's discrimination campaigns, his old club Sunderland's lack of action when he was a player, and the constant abuse he's received over the last number of years.

"For my son, who is seven years old and watches every Wigan game - either being at stadium or on Latics TV - to be asking his mother, 'Why are they booing and singing that song at Daddy?' And to have to tip toe around answering him is something which should not be happening," started the social media post.

He wrote: “Considering every single year we have an FA representative come into each club to discuss the same old crap they spew to us about discrimination, every single year I challenge them on the abuse, every single year they do nothing.

“This clip is one of yesterday, which can be heard clearly of one particular chant, as well as other chants of ‘f**k the pope and IRA, being sung... as well as numerous individual chants of ‘fenian b*****d, Fenian c**t, you dirty Irish c**t’ (while displaying a tribute before the game honouring Niall Quinn who is the same nationality as myself).

“I should not have to report every single incident when clearly they can all hear what I hear and they should be doing their job by taking action. “I would be lying if I was to say I expect anything to be done about this by the FA, EFL (history shows this), but here is ANOTHER CHANCE…”

Wigan's Chairman Talal Al Hammad also posted on social media explaining that the abuse of the Derry native needed to stop.

“It is shameful and disgusting and needs to stop," said the chairman.

McClean received huge support for his post online, mainly from people living in Ireland for calling out the hypocrisy of organisations of the FA.

Erin also came out in support for her husband while thanking the public.

She wrote: “I try to avoid getting into it too much anymore because it takes too much energy and tbh it’s been quite pointless in the past.

“But the support hasn’t gone unnoticed and definitely outshines the negativity for me. So thank you.'

Only last month Erin shared some of the abusive messages sent to her by trolls on social media.

The vile messages were left on an Instagram post on Erin’s page in which she is announcing her new role as a brand ambassador for an Irish-based beauty brand.

"Please leave the UK, you're not welcome here,” one comment read.

While another person commented: "James McClean should be in a box."

Posting a screenshot of the comments to her Instagram story, McClean captioned them ‘lol’.

James was born in Derry and hails from the Creggan estate where six of those killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 also came from.

In March, a man who was accused of shouting “Irish ****” at the Ireland soccer star during a match in England last year, was fined £233 with £85 costs.

He was accused of repeatedly chanting “England” and then shouting abuse at McClean at the match last year.

McClean has been vocal about how abuse aimed in his direction was ignored by the authorities for a number of years.

There was a noticeable change in stance from the FA in the months before the pandemic shut down stadiums.

Barnsley received a £20,000 fine for sectarian abuse directed at McClean with the FA critical of what they perceived to be a slack attitude to the offences.

On another occasion, a game at Huddersfield was paused when McClean reported comments to the referee as he prepared to take a dead ball. Fans were warned to stop over the PA system.

In August, Wigan Athletic took the significant step of writing to their League One rivals to warn them that an FA charge will come their way if James McClean receives sectarian abuse from their spectators.

After McClean re-joined Wigan where he played for two seasons between 2013 and 2015, his new employers wrote to their League One counterparts, advising that they should “consider putting plans in place to respond to any inappropriate or unlawful chanting”.

The letter – the details of which first emerged in The Guardian – was explained as an attempt to ensure clubs were “fully sighted on the circumstances and to avoid your club being charged with contravening rule E20 by the FA.”

It adds that if there are issues during a particular game, it would be “helpful” if the Ireland international was spoken to and informed of action that was taken.

Wigan say they have discussed the reporting procedure with McClean, the FA, the PFA, equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out, the English Football League and Greater Manchester police.

McClean had previously expressed dissatisfaction with a lack of support from Kick It Out, with the player of the opinion that anti-Irish comments weren’t taken as seriously as other forms of discrimination.

But they came out strongly in support of McClean in January 2020 when they said he was subjected to "disgraceful anti-Irish and sectarian abuse" during a league game with Millwall.


Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos