Republic of Ireland footballer Shane Duffy (above) has said he was asked by his club Brighton and Hove Albion to remove a tribute to Martin McGuinness from social media last year.
In an interview with Irish media organisation Second Captains, Duffy also revealed how he was in the company of former Derry City captain, Ryan McBride, two days before he died.
Mr McGuinness passed away last March after a short illness and Duffy took to social media to pay tribute to the leading Sinn Fein figure and former deputy first minister.
“I don’t think people know, if you’re not from Derry, obviously, people just think automatically that Martin McGuinness is bad but people in Derry know, it’s a lot different to people closer to home,” said Duffy.
“I would do the same thing again, it’s just where I’m from. I just didn’t think that there would be such a backlash.”
When Brighton were made aware of Duffy’s tribute they requested it be removed but Duffy said he refused.
“The club were on my case. ‘Get it down.’ I was like, ‘It’s up there now.’ When you put something up for a second, it’s up there. I said, ‘No, it’s my beliefs.’ The manager was good with me, he was alright,” Duffy said.
Duffy said Mr McGuinness “did a lot for Derry”.
“I only met him personally three or four times, like. He was always up for a laugh with the lads - he loved his football. He obviously had a serious head on as well, sometimes. He was always in the headlines for good or bad stuff, people have opinions, but he did a lot for Derry,” Duffy said.
“I met him with James [McClean] a couple of times, he was in our hotel in France [at Euro 2016]. He supported the Derry boys. I never had a lot of time with him but when I met him he was always a nice guy.”