Stoke star James McClean pays for Disneyland trip for young twins who recently lost their dad – The Sun

JAMES McCLEAN has paid for two children mourning the loss of their dad to enjoy a trip to Disneyland.

The Stoke star, 31, wanted to help doting mum Bronagh Burke to try and do something nice for her twins for their fourth birthday.


Kids Aoife and Adam tragically lost their dad Thomas to a heart attack in April.

McClean previously ran 52 miles over two days in tribute to the former footballer and coach at Trojans Football Club.

On this occasion, he responded to mother Bronagh's online appeal over the past few weeks to try and help them celebrate their birthday.

She had requested that people send them as many cards as possible – sparking a huge global reaction, with over 3,000 arriving from as far afield as New York and Australia.

And famous football bad-boy McClean was among those who sent one – with a heartwarming surprise inside.

McClean wrote: "I thought I would wish you a big, very happy fourth birthday and I hope you enjoy your surprise trip to Disneyland. Have a good day!"

Bronagh was understandably incredibly moved by the wonderful gestures made by McClean and everyone else who contributed to the appeal.

'SO MUCH PAIN'

She said: "They have been through so much pain and are still dealing with a lot.

"They are on a journey like I am. The like of a small card means so much to them and if it makes them happy and gives them a wee smile on their face then my job is done.

"The whole of Derry have organised Adam and Aoife's birthday between bouncy castles, cupcakes, balloons, banners – everything.

"You name it, everyone has pulled together for the three of us and we're forever grateful for it."

McClean has something of a reputation for his bad-boy behaviour on and off the pitch.

Most-recently, the Irish ace was fined by Stoke for his "inappropriate" post of himself "teaching history" to his children in a balaclava.

McClean was blasted for the post on social media with some Twitter users describing it as "disgraceful".

The midfielder has been subjected to abuse throughout his career for his refusal to wear a Remembrance Day poppy.

McClean opted to take the controversial stance in memory of the Bloody Sunday massacre in which 13 unarmed citizens were murdered in his native Derry in 1972.

But to his team-mates, his kind gesture to Bronagh and her kids won't be surprise – with McClean widely considered to be one of the nicest guys in the dressing room.

McClean showed his kind side during lockdown by buying 400 pairs of surgical gloves, 100 face masks, protective visors, ten hand sanitisers and 100 gowns for a Derry GP.

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