Ireland winger James McClean has hit back at a section of fans who booed and sang 'anti-Irish' songs during Stoke's Championship clash with Middlesbrough yesterday. 

The annual debate about the Derry native's decision not to wear a poppy resurfaced last week and McClean and Stoke issued statements explaining the reasoning behind it. 

The former West Brom and Derry City forward was booed onto the field and came off the bench towards the end of the 0-0 draw without a poppy on his Stoke shirt.

Writing on his Instagram account, McClean began by quoting Bobby Sands, the leader and first of 10 republican hunger-strikers to die in protests in 1981: 'They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken.'

The 29-year-old 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."