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Refusing to put on a poppy, a balaclava ‘college historical past lesson’, ‘IRA sympathiser’ claims and ‘Free Derry’ tattoo: How the Irish Wrexham star James McClean has been at centre of controversy – after saluting followers who sung ‘he hates the f***ing King’

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Wrexham star James McClean’s resolution to salute followers singing how he ‘hates the f***ing King’ will come as little shock to anybody who has adopted his profession thus far. 

The 34-year-old Irishman is well-known for his staunch pro-nationalist, anti-monarchy views, and has repeatedly courted controversy for his outspoken method over almost twenty years as an expert footballer. 

From refusing to put on a poppy and turning away throughout the nationwide anthem to posing IRA-style in a balaclava in entrance of his youngsters for a ‘college historical past lesson’ – his outbursts have often attracted scorn, and in some instances, official sanction. 

In his newest political gesture, McClean sported a Palestine flag badge on his collar whereas warming up for Wrexham for a sport towards Doncaster Rovers on April 2 – in an obvious breach of EFL guidelines limiting political statements. 

Born in Londonderry, the footballer began out taking part in for his native membership earlier than starting his Premier League profession with Sunderland in 2011. Spells at Wigan, West Brom and Stoke adopted earlier than he signed for Wrexham in 2023. 

Controversial Irish star James McClean saluted Wrexham fans singing a chant that includes the worlds 'he hates the f***ing King'

Controversial Irish star James McClean saluted Wrexham followers singing a chant that features the worlds ‘he hates the f***ing King’ 

McClean doubled down in an Instagram publish, saying he ‘sang alongside on the high of my lungs’

Footage from Saturday reveals McClean strolling as much as Wrexham followers who have been singing for him following the Welsh facet’s 6-0 thrashing of Forest Inexperienced Rovers that secured them promotion into League One.

The Irishman is seen urging the gang to proceed singing the track, one line of which says: ‘He hates the f***ing King’.

It got here just some weeks after Prince William visited Wrexham’s Racecourse Floor to fulfill workers and gamers, and listen to about how the membership has risen because the takeover by Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.

King Charles met the Hollywood duo on his personal go to to Wrexham in December 2022, whereas Prince William met McElhenney, supervisor Phil Parkinson, plus gamers Ben Tozer and Luke Younger on St David’s Day final month.

Taking to Instagram, McClean shared a screenshot of a MailOnline story in regards to the track incident and wrote: ‘Is that this appropriate? Completely and I additionally sang alongside on the high of my lungs.’

He added: ‘Do I make any apologies for doing so? Completely not.

McClean first made headlines in 2012 over his private resolution to not put on a poppy within the lead-up to Remembrance Day, a call which led to him being booed by a few of his personal followers

He continued this stance all through his profession in England, resulting in him being focused by sectarian abuse. 

McClean was celebrating with the Wrexham fans after they earned promotion at the weekend

McClean was celebrating with the Wrexham followers after they earned promotion on the weekend

It came just a few weeks after Prince William visited Wrexham's Racecourse Ground to meet staff and players

It got here just some weeks after Prince William visited Wrexham’s Racecourse Floor to fulfill workers and gamers 

The footballer could be seen wearing a Palestine flag badge on his collar for a game against Doncaster Rovers on April 2

The footballer might be seen sporting a Palestine flag badge on his collar for a sport towards Doncaster Rovers on April 2 

Explaining the choice, he cited Bloody Sunday – which noticed British Troopers shoot lifeless 26 unarmed civilians in his dwelling metropolis of Londonderry, identified to nationalists as Derry. 

The Irish worldwide later hit out on the abuse he had obtained for the choice and insisted he solely wished ‘respect’. 

He informed Sky Information: ‘I would not say: ‘Oh, take a look at him sporting a poppy.’ It does not hassle me that folks have their views. I perceive that folks have totally different values from me and totally different beliefs. 

‘I respect that. Simply because I do not fall in line, that does not imply I disrespect or I hate you. All I am asking for is to be revered for my beliefs in return. It is so simple as that.’ 

After being booed by Wigan followers in 2022, the footballer took to Instagram to complain of the abuse he had been receiving. 

He wrote: ‘For my son, who’s seven years outdated and watches each Wigan sport… to be asking his mom, ‘why are they booing and singing that track at Daddy?’ And to must tip toe round answering him is one thing which shouldn’t be occurring.’

The FA beforehand investigated followers singing anti-Pope and anti-IRA songs in the direction of McClean on numerous events.

Last September, McClean admitted regrets about posting a controversial picture of himself in lockdown 'jokingly' home schooling his children in a balaclava, which was interpreted as a reference to the IRA

Final September, McClean admitted regrets about posting a controversial image of himself in lockdown ‘jokingly’ dwelling education his youngsters in a balaclava, which was interpreted as a reference to the IRA 

McClean turned away from the cross of St George when the British nationwide anthem performed throughout a pre-season pleasant for West Brom in 2015

Final September, McClean admitted regrets about posting a controversial image of himself in lockdown ‘jokingly’ dwelling education his youngsters in a balaclava, which was interpreted as a reference to the IRA.

The picture shared on an Instagram story to his 22,000 followers depicts him sitting on a field with two younger youngsters sitting on the carpet attentively in entrance of him.

McClean was fined two weeks of wages by Stoke Metropolis for the publish in 2020. It was subsequently eliminated. 

He referred to as the publish a ‘mistake’, including: ‘I remorse it in a single sense as a result of it is given folks now a chance to say “nicely he brings it on himself.” Each time my identify will get introduced up, they only connect that image to it.

‘That was simply dangerous judgement on my half. It was speculated to be a joke and it wasn’t a joke. And it turned out simply to be an absolute catastrophe judgement name. It is given folks a chance to justify the abuse.’

McClean first made a reputation for himself within the Premier League in 2011 as he joined Sunderland – taking part in 70 occasions for the Black Cats. 

In 2013 he was banned from X after he professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer, a track by the Wolfe Tones that tells of a boy whose father is killed whereas combating for the IRA throughout the Twenties.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell referred to as for Sunderland to sack McClean if he made one other related outburst. 

Inked just under one a tattoo of Free Derry – – a self-declared autonomous Irish nationalist space of the town within the Troubles – McClean has a quote from creator and playwright Enid Bagnold 

The winger Wigan in 2013, the place he loved 86 outings, earlier than heading to West Bromwich Albion in 2015. 

However he rapidly broke ranks together with his new teammates by turning to his proper and dealing with downwards because the British nationwide anthem was performed earlier than a pre-season pleasant on the Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina.

McClean went on to assist the Premier League facet defeat American opponents Charleston Battery 2-1, however his actions prompted offended exchanges on social media. 

The footballer has described himself as a ‘proud Fenian’ and has a tattoo of Free Derry – a self-declared autonomous Irish nationalist space of the town throughout the Troubles. 

The winger, who has 103 caps for the Republic of Eire, joined Wigan for 2 years earlier than transferring to Wrexham in August 2023. He has netted 4 targets throughout 42 appearances to date. 

Final yr, he revealed he had been identified with autism.  

Wrexham has grow to be well-known all over the world after it was taken over by actors Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds and featured on standard Disney+ documentary Welcome To Wrexham.