Ex-Wigan Athletic star has heart of gold

Former Wigan Athletic winger James McClean has put his hand in his pocket to pay for Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers in his home city of Derry.

Monday, 6th April 2020, 10:11 am
Updated Monday, 6th April 2020, 11:05 am
James McClean

The generous deed only became public when a doctor revealed the Republic of Ireland international had donated the much-needed kit - believed to be 400 pairs of gloves, 100 face masks, protective visors, 10 hand sanitisers and over 100 gowns - to staff at the Altnagelvin hospital.

"I was going through Facebook and saw a post asking for help," McClean told Sky Sports News. "I just typed into Google to see what I could get and was fortunate to find equipment.

"It's never been about publicity. I'm a Derry boy. "We weren't blessed with a lot of money growing up so if I see someone struggling I take the position I'm in seriously.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"I like to help people less fortunate as much as I can. I've been in a position that I've been less fortunate."

"It's not going to solve all the problems but hopefully it can tide them over. It begs the question if I'm able to go online why can't the authorities supply enough equipment?"

McClean also joined Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney in lambasting health secretary Matt Hancock for calling on footballers to 'play their part' in the Covid-19 pandemic by taking pay cuts to help the effort.

"It's ridiculous," said McClean. "You've got Matt Hancock saying we should take a pay cut. No one seems to like footballers.

"We've got livelihoods too and people might take this the wrong way but we do work hard for our money.

"Think about what players pay towards government tax. Football is a short career and we've got to look after our families once it's over.

"I've seen players do great deeds from their own pocket."