McClean for the Republic of Ireland, September 2013.
|Full name||James Joseph McClean|
|Date of birth||22 April 1989|
|Place of birth||Derry, Northern Ireland|
|Height||1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|West Bromwich Albion|
|2015–||West Bromwich Albion||17||(1)|
|2008–2009||Northern Ireland U21||7||(0)|
|2011||League of Ireland XI||2||(0)|
|2012–||Republic of Ireland||32||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 December 2015.
He played with Trojans, Institute, his hometown club Derry City, and Sunderland before moving to Wigan Athletic in August 2013. He spent two seasons at Wigan, claiming their player of the year award in the latter, and then returned to the Premier League by joining West Bromwich Albion in June 2015.
McClean was born and brought up in Derry, Northern Ireland and played for the Northern Ireland national under-21 football team, but declined a call-up to the senior squad because he wanted to play for the Republic of Ireland. In February 2012, McClean received international clearance from FIFA which made him eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland, making his debut against the Czech Republic in the same month, and representing the nation at UEFA Euro 2012.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Outside football
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
McClean began his career at Institute, making one first team appearance as a substitute against Glentoran in the 2007–08 Irish Premier League season. Institute agreed to terminate his contract so he could join Derry City.
From the Creggan area of Derry, he was one of the first four players to sign for the new Derry City, along with David McDaid, and the McEleney brothers — Shane and Patrick. His debut came in August 2008 when he scored in a League of Ireland Cup win. McClean made his League of Ireland debut as a substitute for Kevin McHugh at Turner's Cross on 8 September 2008. He had been described by the former Candystripes manager Stephen Kenny "as an exciting prospect for the future".
McClean joined Sunderland on 9 August 2011 for a fee of £350,000, signing a three-year contract. Upon signing McClean, manager Steve Bruce indicated that he was "one for the future", and also hinted that he would be in the reserve team until Christmas. His form in the development squad was capped by a reserve-debut goal in a 4–3 win over Tyne–Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, earning him a place on the Sunderland bench. Despite never making an appearance under Bruce, he made his debut for the first team in Martin O'Neill's first game in charge on 11 December, a 2–1 win over Blackburn Rovers and was credited for the comeback which saw his side overturn a 1–0 deficit, after coming on as a substitute for Jack Colback in the second half.
McClean made his first start for Sunderland in their 1–0 victory over Manchester City on 1 January 2012, and scored his first senior goal for the Black Cats in a 4–1 win against Wigan Athletic two days later; on 8 January, he scored and assisted Sebastian Larsson in a 2–0 win at Peterborough United in the third round of the FA Cup. McClean provided the assist for Stéphane Sessègnon's opening goal in Sunderland's 2–0 victory over Swansea City on 21 January, and got another assist in the equalising goal for Fraizer Campbell in the next round of the cup against Middlesbrough on 29 January. Ahead of the replay for that fixture, Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray used McClean as an example for young players to follow. McClean turned provider again in Sunderland's 3–0 victory over Norwich City, assisting Sessègnon's goal, then scored the only goal in a win over Stoke City on 4 February in snowy conditions at the Britannia Stadium. A week later, he opened the scoring in Sunderland's 1–2 home loss to Arsenal after Per Mertesacker injured himself. On 23 March, Sunderland announced that McClean had signed a new contract intended to force him to stay at the club until the summer of 2015. A day later, he helped them to a 3–1 victory over relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers by assisting the opening goal for Nicklas Bendtner and later scoring by himself. McClean won Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year Award, at the end of the 2011–12 season.
In August 2012, McClean scored his first two goals of the 2012–13 season in the second round of the League Cup against Morecambe. He also scored in the third round as well, scoring in the 82nd minute away at Milton Keynes Dons. He scored his first Premier League goal of the season in a 3–0 home defeat of Reading on 11 December, exactly twelve months to the day that he made his Sunderland debut.
McClean signed for Championship club Wigan Athletic on a three-year contract on 8 August 2013. Three days later he made his debut in the 2013 FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium, starting in a 2–0 loss to Manchester United.
He scored his first goal for Wigan on 26 January 2014 in the FA Cup fourth round, a winner in a 2–1 victory against Crystal Palace. He had scored on 18 December against Sheffield Wednesday, but that match was abandoned in heavy rain and his goal was struck from the records; it was the only goal of the game by the 59th minute in which it was called off.
West Bromwich Albion
On 22 June 2015, McClean signed for West Bromwich Albion on a three-year deal for a fee believed to be around £1.5 million. In July, on the team's tour of the United States, he turned his back on the Flag of England while the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" was played before a match against the Charleston Battery, which resulted in a verbal warning from manager Tony Pulis.
He made his competitive debut on 10 August as West Brom began the season against Manchester City at The Hawthorns. Booed by his team's own fans whenever he touched the ball, he was replaced by Claudio Yacob at half time, as his team lost 0–3. On 17 October, after a 1–0 home win over his former team Sunderland, he taunted the visiting fans, leading to confrontations between both sets of players; he was given a warning by the FA over his conduct. He scored his first goal for the Baggies on 5 December, a 39th-minute headed equaliser in a 1–1 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur. Two weeks later, he was sent off in the first half of a 1–2 home loss to Bournemouth for a challenge on Adam Smith; teammate José Salomón Rondón was also dismissed in added time.
McClean was part of the Northern Ireland team that won the 2008 Milk Cup and scored in the opening game in a 3–1 win against the US. He has also represented Northern Ireland seven times at Under 21 level. On 26 July 2011 he was called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for the match against the Faroe Islands on 10 August 2011. McClean decided to wait for selection by the Republic of Ireland and therefore pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad. In January 2012 he again confirmed he would not be reconsidering his decision even though the Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill had been in contact.
Republic of Ireland
McClean's success in the Premier League saw increasing calls for Giovanni Trapattoni to select him for the Republic of Ireland, with Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill saying after his winning goal at Stoke: "I think he's more than capable of going to Euro 2012... Hopefully he's making such an impact he'll be watched by someone in the Ireland camp, even if it's not Trapattoni. They couldn't fail to be impressed.” McClean received international clearance to play for the Republic of Ireland on 9 February. However, he was not included in the squad for the match against the Czech Republic which was announced the next day, though he was added to the squad on 20 February after success against Arsenal in the FA Cup Fifth Round Proper.
McClean made his international debut on 29 February 2012, coming on in the 78th minute for Aiden McGeady in a friendly against the Czech Republic at the Aviva Stadium. On 7 May 2012, Giovanni Trapattoni confirmed that McClean was part of the Irish UEFA Euro 2012 squad. He then received sectarian abuse via Twitter. On 26 May 2012, McClean made his first senior international start against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the final home friendly ahead of UEFA Euro 2012, playing on the left flank.
On 10 June 2012, the date of Ireland's first UEFA Euro 2012 match in Poland, McClean was left on the bench; the game ended in a 3–1 defeat to Croatia. Two days before Ireland's next match on 14 June 2012, Ireland manager Trapattoni hinted that McClean would not feature in that game against world champions Spain. After much public urging for Trapattoni to make use of McClean's talents to recover Ireland's progress in the European Championship, Trapattoni claimed that "His time would come in the future". However, on 14 June 2012, McClean appeared as a substitute against Spain, coming on in the 76th minute in Gdańsk.
On 7 September 2012, after being left on the bench during Ireland's 2–1 victory over Kazakhstan in a World Cup 2014 qualifier, McClean used Twitter to criticise manager Giovanni Trapattoni. The tweet, and McClean's account, were subsequently deleted and the winger was forced to apologise to teammates.
On 10 November 2012, McClean chose not to wear a jersey with a remembrance poppy in match against Everton, instead opting for a jersey without a poppy woven into the fabric. As a result, he received sectarian abuse and loyalist threats especially on social networking site Twitter, although he had already closed his account in May due to similar abuse. His decision was defended by team-mate David Meyler, his international manager Giovanni Trapattoni, and Rio Ferdinand. Sunderland confirmed in a club statement that it was his own personal choice not to wear a shirt with a poppy on this occasion and despite the club wholeheartedly supporting the remembrance commemorations, they would not take action against the player. Club manager Martin O'Neill, who is also from Derry, did not wear a poppy on his training top on the touchline at Goodison Park, but did wear one on his suit for his post-match media duties.
McClean gave his signed poppy-less jersey to his former Derry City team-mate Ger O'Brien to auction off to helping raise funds for the Crumlin Cancer Ward appeal in aid of Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin located in Dublin. It later emerged that from the marchers that were shot by British military during Bloody Sunday in Derry 1972, six of the dead were from the Creggan estate, where McClean is from; team-mate John O'Shea said the whole team supported his decision. A week after the incident McClean appeared as a substitute against Fulham, a match in which Sunderland won but McClean was subject to booing by his own club’s supporters. On 19 November, Northumbria Police confirmed they were investigating death threats directed at McClean after images of 5.6mm bullets were placed on his Twitter timeline, by a man claiming to be a British soldier. The person in question sent one of his threats directly to Sinn Féin newspaper An Phoblacht via twitter, saying: "@codylachey50: @An_Phoblacht: Poppy bullies’ death threats against James McClean! Too right he deserves to be shot dead + body dragged past the cenotaph!!", a threat which was later withdrawn. The Derry Journal also reported that he stated: "I wanted him (McClean) dead, but there's no threat from me to James McClean now, although I can't be held responsible for what other people may do. I think he's a f***ing disgrace." McClean's decision was supported by journalist Ed Upright of When Saturday Comes.
On 26 July 2012, McClean was caught speeding in his Land Rover at 95 mph on the M2 motorway in County Antrim, which he was not permitted to drive on as he did not have a full licence. He was further charged for being an unaccompanied learner driver and not displaying "L" plates on his car, and admitted all charges to the police. In April 2013, he was tried in absentia at Antrim Magistrates' Court, and fined £700
In November 2015, McClean was found guilty of a traffic-related offence, and as he already had six points on his licence, was banned from driving for six months, in addition to a fine.
- As of match played 11 October 2014.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Derry City||2008||LOI Premier Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|2009||LOI Premier Division||26||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||26||1|
|2010||LOI First Division||30||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||30||10|
|2011||LOI Premier Division||21||7||0||0||1||0||0||0||22||7|
- As of match played 16 November 2015.
|Republic of Ireland||2012||6||0|
- Result lists Republic of Ireland's goal first
|James McClean – Ireland goals|
|11 June 2014||MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, United States||Portugal||1–5||Friendly||1 (1)|
|11 October 2014||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland||Gibraltar||7–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification||2 (3)|
|18 November 2014||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland||United States||4–1||Friendly||1 (4)|
- Derry City
- Northern Ireland
- Milk Cup: 2008
- Wigan Athletic
- "The Football League Limited: Club list of registered players as at 16th May 2015" (PDF). The Football League. 16 May 2015. p. 36. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
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That sure told him and besides, it is not the first battle McClean has had to fight on Twitter of late, with the left winger having to remind everybody that although his name is spelt McClean, it is actually pronounced McClane – just think of John McClane from Die Hard and you'll get the picture.
- McKinley, Stuart (10 February 2012). "'Colin Murray, get it right' – James McClean reveals why he turned down Northern Ireland". The Belfast Telegraph (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 10 February 2012.
The strike was one of the highlights of Match of the Day 2’s weekend round-up, with the Belfast-born presenter proudly reminding viewers that this was a fellow countryman scoring in the Premier League — not something that happens too often nowadays — as he described McClean as 'Northern Irish'. Not me was McClean’s response as he replied via his Twitter account: "Colin murray get it right will you its #irish"
- Taylor, Louise (17 February 2012). "James McClean sweeps into Martin O'Neill's good books at Sunderland". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 17 February 2012.
When Murray, who is from Belfast, commented that it was good to see a Northern Irishman scoring Sunderland's winner against Stoke, McClean's riposte, via Twitter, was unequivocal: "Colin Murray get it right will you, it's Irish."
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- Guardian McClean threats
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