Outrage at Bet365's James McClean 'hero' tweet

James McClean scored the winning goal for Ireland against Wales. (Photo: Sportsfile)
James McClean scored the winning goal for Ireland against Wales. (Photo: Sportsfile)

Derry man and Republic of Ireland international James McClean has been targeted by online trolls after an English betting firm described him as "hero".

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The Republic of Ireland held on to win the game 1-0 and secure a place in the playoffs for World Cup 2018.

Bet365 tweeted a photograph of McClean after the game with the caption "not all heroes wear capes".

This prompted a backlash from some customers who described the Bet365 tweet as "disgraceful".

McClean, 28, has been subjected to blatant sectarian abuse after he explained why he does not wear a remembrance day poppy.

"I can't believe Bet355 have done this. It's disgraceful and as a result I am closing my account," said one unhappy customer.

DUP MP for East Derry, Gregory Campbell, accused Bet365 of not considering the consequences.

"I think Bet365 should consider carefully their advertising strategy when they are engaging, because on occasion they can use an advertising programme that might cause some people not to use their company or for controversy to be created that they may not have intended to occur. They haven't considered the consequences before putting this out," he said.

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Many supporters jumped to the defence of McClean who is a firm favourite with Ireland supporters.

"James McClean is an Irish hero and a warrior on the pitch. Any sane football fan would bite your hand off if they could have a player like James McClean in their team," said one supporter on social media.

The draw for the play-offs for World Cup 2018 will take place on Tuesday October 17, 2017.