JAMES McClean has hit out at a section of supporters who he labelled 'uneducated cavemen' for booing and singing anti-Irish songs at him during Stoke City's Championship clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The Ireland winger and Stoke City had both issued statements last week explaining his decision not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy - a controversial decision he's made every year and one he's been consistently abused for since making the move to Sunderland from Derry City in 2011.
McClean – who came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute – was subjected to constant abuse from the Boothen End of the bet365 Stadium and was pelted with objects as he was ushered by stewards towards the tunnel at full-time.
The abuse prompted the following defiant response from the Creggan native on his Instagram account which he began by quoting Irish Republican and 1981 hunger-striker, Bobby Sands: "They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken..'
McClean added: "Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst.. to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous.
"To the section of uneducated cavemen in left hand corner of the Boothen End stand that want to sing their anti-Irish song each game and call me a Fenian this and that.. I am a PROUD FENIAN no [one] will ever change that, so sing away."
Stoke manager, Gary Rowett defended his player and accused away fans of using it as an opportunity to “goad somebody”.
Celtic stars Scot Brown and Jonny Hayes also threw their support behind the Derry man and were also among more than 30,000 followers to have liked the Instagram post with fellow Irishman, Hayes also commented with a four-leaf clover and oncoming fist emojis.