A nine-year-old boy has penned an emotional letter of support to England forward Marcus Rashford after he missed a penalty in the final defeat of Euro 2020.
Italy played out a 1-1 draw with on a night of high drama at Wembley, Luke Shaw scored the fastest goal ever in a Euro final but after Chiellini’s equalizer, it was the Azzurri who took the trophy home after Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their penalties.
After the crushing disappointment, a lot of fans, English and Non-English alike have focused on the positives that England could glean from the tournament and one young fan offered heartfelt words of support for Rashford.
Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘Hey Marcus – I think this young man speaks for the vast majority of people in this country,’ above a picture of the letter shared by the youngster’s mother online.
The boy, Dexter, wrote: ‘Dear Marcus Rashford, I hope you won’t be sad for too long because you are such a good person.
‘Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night, you inspired me again to always be brave.
‘I’m proud of you, you will always be a hero. From Dexter Rosier. Aged nine.’
Rashford did not have a lot of minjtes at the tournament but he was brought in on Sunday night with hopes that he would help his team in the penalty shootout.
Gareth Southgate brought the Manchester United man on late in extra time to take a penalty but the forward, despite his confidence struck the post before putting his head in his hands in despair.
It was a terrible way to end the tournament but even more terrible was the fact tha the three players that lost the penalties were subjected to racial abuse.
There were a number of sickening messages to Saka, Rashford and Sancho on their Instagram pages.
The Arsenal star, Saka, was targeted with racist language and emojis on the social media website, on his most recent post from the day before the final. One user told him ‘get out of my country’, while another said: ‘Go back to Nigeria’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: ‘This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,’ said the prime minister.
‘Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.’
The FA also condemned the ‘appalling’ abuse and would do everything possible to support players affected by racism.
‘We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team,’ said the FA in a statement.
‘We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.
‘We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.
‘Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.’
In a statement, Instagram said: ‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram.
‘We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.
‘In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs.
‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’
European football’s governing body Uefa condemned the ‘disgusting racist abuse’, adding: ‘We stand by the players and the FA’s call for the strongest possible punishments.’