James McClean back in the news as victim after court and FA hearings

James McClea tweeted his backing for Sinn Fein's attempt to change the name of Londonderry
James McClea tweeted his backing for Sinn Fein's attempt to change the name of Londonderry

Londonderry-born footballer James McClean has continued to feature in both the news and sport pages following his snubbing of the UK national anthem in the US last week.

He received a dressing down from his West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis over the incident in South Carolina – where he bowed his head and faced away from the flag – but risked further controversy by expressing his support for a Sinn Fein political initiative on Friday.

Despite being warned by Pulis to move away from the “stigma” of his anti-British gestures, McClean tweeted: “Training finished, gym finished, Derry’s officially getting its rightful name back, have a great day folks”.

The Republic of Ireland international was referring to a council motion calling for the ‘London’ prefix to be dropped.

McClean was also in the news, having had his luxury car damaged outside his family home in the Creggan area – and as the victim of a verbal assault during a match against Rotherham.

Aaron Sean Dalton, 28, of Moss Park in Londonderry was ordered to pay McClean £500 compensation, and given a suspended sentence for assaulting the player’s father, when he appeared before a court in the city.

Rotherham FC’s Kirk Broadfoot was handed a 10-match ban and fined £7,500 for verbally abusing McClean during a match in March this year.

Broadfoot, a former Rangers’ player, was also ordered by the FA to complete an education programme over the incident which has been reported as being sectarian in nature.