James McClean: 'I stand by decision to snub poppy'

Sunderland winger James McClean celebrates his early strike versus Reading on December 11, 2012
© PA Photos
Sunderland's James McClean says that he does not regret refusing to wear a poppy last year and intends to repeat the snub.

Sunderland winger James McClean has insisted that he will continue to refuse to wear a poppy, despite last year's controversy.

The 23-year-old sparked outrage when he decided against wearing a special edition Remembrance Day shirt, which was embroided with a poppy in order to pay tribute to fallen British soldiers.

"People have their own opinions," the Shields Gazette quotes McClean as saying. "They have their beliefs and I have mine.

"I don't regret it, come next year I'm going to do the same thing. I got a lot of flak from everybody, but I'll say it again, it doesn't bother me. Every year I'm not going to wear it, so I'll take whatever comes."

McClean grew up on the Creggan Estate in Derry, Northern Ireland, where 14 people were killed by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday.

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