Ireland footballer James McClean hits out at online trolls who told him 'I hope you die' after he was diagnosed with Covid-19
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Ireland footballer James McClean hits out at online trolls who told him 'I hope you die' after he was diagnosed with Covid-19

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL James McClean has responded to the sick online trolls who have abused him on social media ever since the midfielder was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The Stoke City midfielder took to Instagram to post a screenshot of someone who made fun of his illness, and told him "I hope you f***ing die'.

McClean wrote: "Sorry to dissapoint [sic] ya mutants but ... am more than fine," accompanied by a photo of himself working out in a gym in his home.

The Derry-born footballer was forced to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19, and is currently self-isolating.

The diagnosis came less than 24 hours after he was named 'man of the match' in Ireland's 1-0 Nations League defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

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He subsequently missed the side's 0-0 draw with Bulgaria on Wednesday evening, and is set to miss Stoke's upcoming fixtures against Huddersfield and Norwich.

McClean has frequently been subjected to abuse, both online and from fans in stadiums, and claims he receives "more abuse than any other player."

The Irishman has vented in the past about the amount of sectarian abuse he receives from English supporters, and has frequently asked why football's authorities don't clamp down on the abuse in the same manner in which they would with a case of racist abuse against a black player, for example.

McClean received more vile abuse during lockdown back in April, when he posted a controversial photo to his Instagram page.

The image showed McClean in a balaclava with his two children, with the caption: "Today's school lesson - history".

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It was interpreted as an ill-advised reference to the IRA, and the photo received a swarm of online criticism, and McClean's brother claimed death threats had been aimed at the winger's children.

McClean apologised for the post and later removed it, but defended his actions initially, asking why he can't have "fun" if fans are allowed to at his expense.