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McClean rejects poppy as Sunderland pal Wickham tweets: Support our troops!

Sunderland winger James McClean refused to wear a Remembrance Day poppy in defeat at Everton.

All Sunderland and Everton players wore the specially commissioned shirts featuring a poppy on the chest as part of the Remembrance Sunday commemoration.

But the Londonderry-born Republic of Ireland international asked to wear his usual shirt when he was recalled by Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill for today's clash at Goodison.

Sunderland have distanced themselves from McClean's decision and have again given their full support to the appeal.

A club spokesman said: "As a club Sunderland AFC wholeheartedly supports the Remembrance Commemorations. It was James' personal choice not to wear a shirt on this occasion."

By contrast with McClean, Sunderland striker Connor Wickham - whose father is in the Army - posted a tweet in support of British troops and the annual campaign.

The England Under 21 international wrote: "Support for the troops past and present before game today is great! We should be proud of our troops!"

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