Their donations were made with no fanfare by the players at the time.
But now Nathan Walton, director of income generation at the Stoke-on-Trent hospice, has revealed their generosity by posting a message on The Oatcake fanzine message board.
He wrote: “I work for the hospice and we are struggling to keep our services going – this virus has literally seen our fundraising income fall off a cliff.
“Both James and Joe have recently made significant cash donations to help keep us going to provide much needs services for children with life limited conditions. Thank you so much.”
One reply on the message board came from Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters’ Federation and lifelong Stoke fan, who wrote: “Good for them. Quite a few footballers have been doing good things in this crisis.”
News of their generosity comes the day after McClean attracted publicity of a different kind thanks to a controversial Instagram post which earned him a two-week fine and a rap over the knuckles from Stoke City.
One suggestion since is that the fine should be donated to the NHS as it gears up for its biggest battle yet.
One poster on The Oatcake suggests players might want to volunteer to make phone calls to people on behalf of the NHS.
“No risk as you do it from home,” says the poster, “and imagine the thrill an isolating patient would get from speaking to a footballer.”