Stephen McGinn St Mirren exit ‘doesn’t sit well’ with brother John McGinn

Scotland midfielder thinks Paisley club should have shown his sibling more loyalty
Stephen McGinn has been released by St Mirren. Picture: Roddy Scott/SNSStephen McGinn has been released by St Mirren. Picture: Roddy Scott/SNS
Stephen McGinn has been released by St Mirren. Picture: Roddy Scott/SNS

St Mirren has been a club of huge importance to John McGinn and older footballing brothers Stephen, pictured, and Paul. The siblings have an unbreakable bond, but the shattering of Stephen’s connection with the Paisley club that resulted from the 31-year-old being freed this week appears to have fractured the Aston Villa midfielder’s regard for a team the trio all served.

“I’ve been doing a few Q&As and they ask who my role mode was growing up watching football and up till about 16, 17 it would be the obvious ones. And then Stephen started playing in St Mirren’s first team, and I was obsessed, home and away, everywhere, with St Mirren, in with the diehards,” said youngest sibling John. “And then it followed on with Watford [when Stephen moved there] and from there. It is never nice that situation and it doesn’t sit too well with me for the fact of what he’s done for St Mirren.

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“I know football is like that, and I know he had injuries. But I’ll take it back to when he rejoined [in 2017].
St Mirren were rooted in the Championship, right up against it, and he had choices, and a chance to go to the Premiership. I advised him to stay as high as you can and he said ‘naw, I played with Jack Ross, 
St Mirren gave me a chance, I’m going back there to help out and get my love for football back again.’ And every St Mirren fan will tell you he single-handedly dragged 
St Mirren safe that season.

“Obviously, he’s hurting and we’re all hurting for him but I’m sure he’ll be back playing football soon and be proving everyone wrong. It’s a difficult one in the current climate. I know Stephen has a brilliant relationship with everyone there. Loyalty is a difficult topic in football. There are so many ways you can look at it. I have a bias towards my brother.

“It did hurt and it would be the same if it was Paul at Hibs. We’ve had our ups and downs before – we’re all capable of coming back from it. The main thing is that he’s still got the hunger to play. Stopping hasn’t even crossed his mind. Paul and him have been trying to keep as fit as they can. I’m sure whoever gets him will be getting a top player.

“Both of my brothers have been an influence because the journey they’ve been on has been so different. Stephen didn’t have as many set-backs as Paul did early in his career. I remember Paul being able to go to many of our games because he was either playing for an amateur team or Queen’s Park while he was working.

“People had told him there was no way he could play higher up. The fact he’s now playing in the Premiership at Hibs inspires me. On the other hand, if I complain about things or grumble, I have them saying they would swap me. I’m very fortunate to have that beside me.”

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