Fans spot James McClean splitting off while bowing head during tribute to Queen

James McClean wore a black armband and bowed his head during a minute's silence for Queen Elizabeth II while splitting away from his linked Wigan team-mates.

The Northern Ireland-born Republic of Ireland international was largely respectful in his stance before the Championship clash against Huddersfield on Tuesday evening – and was praised by the majority of social media users.

The 33-year-old, who opts not to wear shirts bearing the symbol of the remembrance poppy, had said regarding potential tributes to the Queen earlier in the week: "Unless you are a nationalist that was born and raised in Derry or anywhere else in the north of Ireland then don't assume or speak on our behalf unless you can relate."

READ MORE: Preston North End fan slams club over lifetime ban for tweets about The Queen's death

With Football League sides taking part in a minute's silence before kick-off on Tuesday, one social media snap showed McClean splitting from his team-mates, which didn't tell the full story.

Another angle showed McLean bowing his head while wearing the black armband of remembrance, with the alternate photos gaining differing reactions online.

One Twitter user wrote: "Oh James McClean…" With a second adding: "Yet he’s more than happy to take a salary from an English club?"

However, the majority of fans didn't see the problem, with one writing: "I've never been a James McClean fan but the guy is standing silent during a minute silence. What's the issue?"

And another adding: "No issue there whatsoever. People can have their own opinions and beliefs while still being respectful to the situation, fair man."

And a third agreeing: "No issue with someone standing quietly during this. It's better than disrespecting the moment entirely."

McClean's stance on the poppy comes as an objection to the role of the British Army in The Troubles, stating he would wear one if it was related to only soldiers who died in the World Wars.

McClean joined Wigan from Stoke in 2021 having played in the Premier League for Sunderland between 2011 and 2013 and later West Brom between 2015 and 2018.

With Will Keane scoring the opening goal in Tuesday's fixture, McClean set up Callum Lang's late winner for the away side after Tom Lees had equalised.

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