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A lovely statement from the Irishman.

James McClean has shared a statement to say that he has been diagnosed with autism.

McClean’s daughter also has autism, and he has revealed that he sought a diagnosis after he noticed similarities between himself and his child.

In a very honest statement, the Ireland and Wigan footballer said that he wanted to share the information so that his daughter knows that this sort of diagnosis will not hold her back in any way.

Autism Awareness Week began on Monday 27 March, which McClean also said played a part in him sharing the truth.

James McClean on autism diagnosis.

On his Instagram page, he wrote: “As you all know, my daughter Willow-Ivy is autistic.

“The last 4 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, for the week that’s in 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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A post shared by James McClean (@macajw)

McClean came on for Ireland against France on Monday night, and went close to scoring an equaliser towards the end.

Read next: What Nathan Collins and Mike Maignan said to each other after late wondersave

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