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Wednesday 30 July 2014

McClean's 'poppy-less' shirt up for grabs

JAMES McCLEAN'S poppy-less Sunderland shirt is up for grabs as the Republic of Ireland star weighed in behind a fund-raising drive for a Dublin children's charity.

McClean was on the receiving end of some more unwanted attention over the weekend after the Derry-born player refused to wear a shirt which featured a poppy during Sunderland's Premier League game against Everton on Saturday.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has since joined in the debate, defending McClean's decision not to wear the poppy, but the jersey itself is up for sale.

McClean's former team-mate at Derry, current St Pat's star Ger O'Brien, is helping to raise funds for the Crumlin Cancer Ward appeal and McClean handed the controversial jersey over to O'Brien for auction.

"James has given me his shirt from yesterday, the genuine one he wore in the game, signed by him," O'Brien said on Twitter.



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O'Brien, who spent one season at Derry City with McClean, became involved in the charity when a friend's daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia.

McClean's refused to wear the special poppy shirt during Sunderland's game while team-mates, including current Republic of Ireland captain John O'Shea, did wear the shirt, though a number of players did change shirts at half-time and wore the club's normal jersey for the second half.

Sunderland insisted that McClean's decision not to wear the poppy was a personal decision and some fellow pros, including Rio Ferdinand, have expressed their support for the Derry native.

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