After a highly publicized, controversial moment last month whereby he refused to wear a poppy on field James McClean showed he has a big heart. 

The "proud Fenian" footballer has been praised after paying for six homeless people to stay in a local hotel for a few nights.

The Republic of Ireland player and his wife Erin collected the six people in Derry and provided them with food and accommodation. 

The Stoke midfielder's sister, Mary-Jane, applauded her brother on Facebook saying he "has a huge heart."

The 29-year-old recently made headlines after he refused, again, to wear a poppy during a Stoke v Middlesbrough game. 

Read More: Sunderland boss backs James McClean and confirms death threats

After the dad-of-one was booed and targeted with bottles thrown by the crowd, he hit back.

In a social media upload, McClean said he will never wear the Remembrance Day tribute as he is a "proud Fenian" and staunchly Catholic.

Fair play to him....great gesture . Only 11 months to go before he gets slated again for not wearing a poppy Footballer James McClean praised for putting up homeless in Derry hotel via @irish_news https://t.co/cGVzzghfaf

— Derek Webb (@oakley73) December 3, 2018

In his passionate (and expletive-laden) rant, he quoted Irish political activist Bobby Sands stating, "They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn't want to be broken."


"To the section of uneducated cavemen in left-hand corner of the boothen end stand that want to song their anti irish song each game and call me a fenian this and that.. i am a PROUD FENIAN no c*** will ever change that, so sing away," he concluded.

The athlete has been consistently refusing to wear the poppy for many years. In 2012, he received death threats over his reluctance to "show respect".

James McCleanInstagram.com/JimmyMac_11