A former British soldier has withdrawn a death threat he made to Derry’s Sunderland footballer James McClean.
The threat was made by ex-British soldier and now Manchester doorman, Cody Lachey, via Twitter earlier this week.
McClean, 23, caused uproar last weekend when he opted out of wearing a club shirt specially embroidered with the Royal British Legion’s poppy.
Anti-terror police were made aware of threats after 29 year-old Lachey posted images of 5.6mm bullets on McClean’s timeline on Twitter.
“I wanted him dead,” said Lachey. “But there’s no threat from me to James McClean now, although I can’t be held responsible for what other people may do.”
Lachey, who describes himself on the social network site as a “6ft 3 ex army lad” tweeted one of his threats against McClean directly to Sinn Fein newspaper, An Phoblacht.
“@codylachey50: @An_Phoblacht: Poppy bullies’ death threats against James McClean! Too right he deserves to be shot dead + body dragged past the cenotaph!!”
Lachey also said: “I think he’s [McClean] a f***ing disgrace. I know I’ll end up in trouble and maybe in prison over this but I’m willing to go to court, that’s how strongly I feel.”
Lachey’s account has since been suspended.
McClean, who has since deleted his Twitter account, was subject to a tirade of offensive messages when he took the decision not to wear the specially designed shirt last Saturday.A spokesperson for McClean’s club Sunderland said: “We can confirm the police have informed us that they are investigating threats made on Twitter.”
Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, said any alleged threat should be examined thoroughly by the police.
“If any alleged threat has been made it should be withdrawn and thoroughly investigated by police.
“The right of people not to feel intimidated into wearing a poppy must be recognised. That includes professional footballers. James McLean’s personal choice in this regard should be respected.”