Police investigate after football fans mock death of young mascot Bradley Lowery
Sheffield Wednesday and South Yorkshire Police say they have launched an ‘immediate investigation’ after pictures began to circulate of fans appearing to mock the death of a young Sunderland fan.
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The inspirational youngster worked his way into the hearts of football fans around the world a few years ago during his battle with cancer, a battle that sadly came to an end in 2017. He was just six years old.
The little boy captured the nation’s heart during his battle with neuroblastoma. He was a mascot for his beloved Sunderland and, in the months before his death, led England out at Wembley alongside his hero, former Black Cats striker Jermain Defoe.
This weekend, after Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 3-0 by the Black Cats at Hillsborough, images of two Owls fans holding up a picture of the youngster towards the Sunderland supporters made it onto social media, and the smiling duo were roundly condemned by thousands.
The club has called their actions ‘deplorable’ and police say an investigation is under way.
“We are aware of the images circulating and have launched an immediate investigation together with South Yorkshire Police,” Wednesday said on Twitter. “We roundly condemn this outrageous and utterly deplorable behaviour. We can only apologise for the undoubted distress caused to Bradley’s family and friends.”
Wednesday’s Women’s Supporters Group have also set up a page to help raise money for the Bradley Lowery Foundation in response to the ‘sickening’ images.
On their GoFundMe page – which you can find here – they said, “In light of the recent, sickening images circulating from the football fixture between Sheffield Wednesday FC and Sunderland AFC at Hillsborough on Friday 29th September 23, Sheffield Wednesday fans would like to raise funds for the Bradley Lowery Foundation to show our support and stand up against this type of behaviour in football.”
A spokesman for the force said: “We are working to investigate public order offences following the Sheffield Wednesday V Sunderland fixture yesterday. We will be working with the club to identity those responsible.
“Anyone with information is asked to get in touch online or by calling 101.”