The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland fitness freak took up a Navy Seals-inspired challenge – running four miles every four hours for 48 hours with very little rest or sleep – in memory of 29-year-old Thomas Burke, who died suddenly last month.
Mr Burke had coached Trojans under-fives and sixes teams in Derry.
And by donating £10 himself for every mile he ran, Creggan lad McClean has funded a new football kit for the club.
James explained on social media: “Half 6 pm Friday night I was going to give this challenge a go. Been training flat out like a madman pushing myself and testing myself since lockdown.
“To be honest I was starting to lack motivation doing basically same stuff each day with basically no end goal in sight, then I saw this and thought it would motivate me . . it has!
“I started out as just that motivation for me, nothing more and not going to lie it was tough, running alone just you and your thoughts, midnight runs, getting up at 4a.m. and again at 8am when your body is tired, legs are sore, midnight and 4a.m are f****g cold trust me.
“As it was getting tough. I thought you know what to be honest I was never quitting once I started, it’s not me but to make certain I said finish this and donate to a worthy cause, so I said I’ll donate £10 for every mile – 52 miles £520.
“I couldn’t think of a better stronger person at the minute than Bronagh Burke and her wains giving in the past five years what they had to endure.“So after speaking with her she came up with the brilliant idea of donating towards a new set of kits to Trojans U5s team . . . coach Burkey’s team and I couldn’t think of a better cause.”
James’ wife Erin captured McClean completing the gruelling challenge on Instagram.
She wrote: “He done it. 4 miles, every 4 hours for 48 hours!
“He has ran 52 miles in 2 days with very little rest and sleep. I dunno if he’s an inspiration or else just a complete madman.
“The most driven hard working man I know, and I am as always super proud of him.
“When he puts his mind to something, he will do it. I was gonna run out and do a big spectacle but I seen the man walking his dog so a high 5 will do.”
Big hearted James has a reputation for his charity work and donations, particularly in Derry, where he has been a particularly big supporter in helping the homeless.
Together with Joe Allen, James has also made a substantial donation to the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Stoke-on-Trent.
Well done James!