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James McClean: Republic of Ireland and Wigan player reveals autism diagnosis that he shares with daughter

James McClean has made his autism diagnosis public during World Autism Acceptance Week; Republic of Ireland and Wigan player's daughter Willow-Ivy also has autism and he said he underwent assessment after "we began to recognise I was very similar in more ways than we thought"

James McClean
Image: James McClean won his 98th cap for Republic of Ireland against France on Monday

Republic of Ireland international James McClean has revealed he has been diagnosed with autism.

The 33-year-old Wigan midfielder made his diagnosis public in an Instagram post on Tuesday during World Autism Acceptance Week, prompting wife Erin to write of her pride.

McClean underwent an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment after recognising traits he shared with the couple's daughter Willow-Ivy.

He wrote: "As you all know, my daughter Willow-Ivy is autistic. The last four years have been life-changing in the most amazing way but also very difficult at times as her daddy, watching her overcome so many obstacles in her life and learning how to manage the challenges she faces on a daily basis.

"The more Erin and I learned about autism the more we began to recognise I was very similar to Willow in more ways than we thought.

"I see so many small traits in her that I see in myself so I decided to go and get an ASD assessment. It's been a bit of a journey and now having a diagnosis I feel it's time to share it.

"I have debated for a while going public in sharing this as I've done this for Willow-Ivy, to let her know that I understand and that being autistic won't and should never hold her back from reaching her goals and dreams.

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Derry-born McClean won his 98th senior cap for Ireland as a substitute in Monday night's 1-0 Euro 2024 Qualifying defeat by France in Dublin.

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