No stranger to abuse online and in his day-to-day life, James McClean recalled a particular incident in which the line between both was blurred on Wednesday's OTB AM.
Ireland international James McClean does not regularly venture outside of his home without some sense of uneasiness.
"You should be able to decide that you're going out to do a bit of shopping with the kids and not have to be on edge," he asserted to OTB Sports on Wednesday's OTB AM, "but it's gotten to the stage now where someone is coming up to me asking for a photo and I don't know if they're being genuine."
A regular target of sectarian abuse online and in his day-to-day dealings, the Derry native recounted a situation where one perfectly reasonable encounter descended into something more malicious.
"I was on a flight to Belfast from Newcastle," recalled McClean of an incident that occurred during his days as a Sunderland player.
"On the flight this guy sat beside me, he was an English lad and he was telling me that he was in the army and this and that.
"Well, we sat and had a conversation the whole way and he seemed a nice bloke."
After departing the plane, the Republic of Ireland international found himself in the man's company again as they met in the airport terminal.
"He asked if he could have a photo," recalled McClean, happy to oblige the man with a picture of the two of them together.
"He took the photo and wished me all the best, I wished him all the best and on he went.
"About two minutes later, I had Twitter at the time and [I'm tagged] in the picture he's just put up of us: 'Just got a photo with this scumbag, told him what I thought,' blah, blah, blah.
"I was just thinking, that didn't happen. But it automatically puts you on the back foot."
One among countless incidents that have brought James McClean into contact with people who wish him and his family harm, you can watch back the full interview on OTB AM right here.
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