McClean discovers he’s autistic like his 4-year-old daughter: ‘Don’t stop dreaming’

The Wigan midfielder, a Northern Irishman who was also trained by Trap in the past: “I saw so many things in her that I saw in myself”. The Asd test confirmed the diagnosis

The footballer father discovers that he has a lot, indeed almost everything, in common with his daughter. Even the disease. This is what happened to James McClean, born in 1989, who in May 2012 had already been the protagonist of an episode that had had some relevance. After playing with the Northern Irish Under 21 team, he who was born in Derry decided to say yes to Giovanni Trapattoni, who had called him up for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine with the Irish national team.


This time the situation involving midfielder McClean, who has been playing for Wigan since 2021 – a team that plays in the Championship, second division of the English league – is more familiar. Intimate. In fact, he discovered that he has a form of autism thanks to his 4-year-old daughter. And he wanted to make it known on Instagram: “As you all know, my daughter Willow-Ivy is autistic. The last 4 years have changed my life in the most amazing way, but it has also been very difficult at times, as her dad watches her overcome all of these obstacles her life has thrown at her, learning to handle the challenges she face daily. The more Erin and I learned about autism, the more we began to understand that I was a lot more like Willow than we realized. I see so many things in her that I also see in myself. So I decided to go and take a special exam (Asd, ed). It was a journey and now having a certain diagnosis, I feel that the time has come to share it, also considering the period (the week of March 30 to April 5 is that of raising awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ed). I’ve been pondering for some time about making it public and sharing it, as I did for Willow-Ivy, to let her know that I understand about her and that being autistic should never stop her from achieving her goals and dreams. Daddy’s little girl.” And the father from this moment on, between one dribble, one cross and one defensive clearance and another, will be able to deal with his daughter’s disorder even better because she is an “opponent” who he too knows well.