James McClean and Poppy Day

This year I have bought two poppies.
One went straight into the lapel of my replica 1937 Sunderland top for the Aston Villa game. The second was purchased when I was realised it was still there (on the shirt, in a cupboard). One of them will be worn with special pride today.

Not everyone takes the same view. This weekend, there was been a row of the sort that is a logical extension of the authoritarian zeal that obliges television presenters and reporters to start wearing poppies absurdly early to avoid causing offence to retired brigadiers in Dorset.

Eyebrows have been raised, dismay expressed and insults levelled because James McClean would not wear the SAFC poppy top at Everton.

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