Eamon Dunphy has said that he admires James McClean's courage in his protests against wearing the poppy but that he would wear it himself if he lived in England.
Speaking at Paddy Power's launch of 'Save our Game' with Damien Delaney, Dunphy said that he believes the poppy retains extreme importance in British life.
This came after Dunphy wore a black armband in the weeks after the Bloody Sunday massacre, when he was playing at Millwall.
Eamon Dunphy on James McClean
"I certainly didn't experience [similar to McClean,] James has taken a very strong stand. The poppy is a very emotive thing for people; it is remembering the war dead, particularly the First World War.
"It is very emotive and very real, they made huge sacrifices. There weren't many families in England who weren't touched by the wars. So what James is doing in choosing not to wear the poppy is much more provocative from an English point of view.
"What I was doing was a one-off and I think even English people understood very quickly that shooting innocent people is wrong."
'I would wear it'
While he says that McClean is well within his rights to protest, Dunphy said that he would wear the symbol if he lived in England.
"He has every right to do what he is going, but what I'm trying to say is that the thing that his protest revolves around is hugely emotive for English people.
"There is a ceremony every year to remember the war dead and to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph. All of that is a part of England's recent history and its contemporary culture.
"I wasn't challenging anything like that, what he is doing is very challenging and I admire his courage and his fortitude. He is doing what he believes in.
"I have to say, personally I wouldn't have any problem wearing the poppy if I was living in England. But his choice is his choice, he is entitled to do what he does and he has paid a heavy price for it, there is no doubt about that."