A fan has raised over £6,600 [and counting] for a young German fan who was seen crying in the crowd during their European Championship round of 16 defeat against England at Wembley.
Joel Hughes, who created theJustGiving page, wanted to show that ‘not everyone from the UK is horrible’ after the girl was cruelly mocked online both during and after the game.
In fact, when the visibly upset Germany supporter was broadcast on the big screen at Wembley, fans cheered when the images emerged.
The abuse from social media was condemned by many, including Stan Collymore and Gary Lineker.
No words necessary. pic.twitter.com/8qF4BtJelV
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) June 30, 2021
Absolutely disgusting. Sickening xenophobia.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) June 30, 2021
Collymore’s tweet about the young fan sparked Hughes, who is Welsh, to start aJustGivingpage with an initial target of £500.
“I saw a tweet from Stan Collymore highlighting the abuse the little girl was getting,” he said viaNation Cymru. “I can’t stand seeing that kind of bullying online.
“I think this kind of xenophobia is worse since Brexit. And almost encouraged by the UK Government.
“So I thought I would try to do something. A small thing. Not something that would change the world, or change the minds of those who wrote nasty stuff about the little girl. But something nonetheless.
“And if it means we can put a smile on that girl’s face, then job done.”
— Roshan Rai (@ItsRoshanRai) June 29, 2021
That target was quickly smashed by fans backing the fundraiser and soon, hundreds of people flocked to the page to show their support, with over 700 donations being submitted so far.
“Weʼre raising £500 to show this little German supporter that not everyone in the UK is horrible,”the pagereads.
“England beat Germany in a major competition at last (well done),”
“However, an element of social media piled in on this photo of an upset little girl. Pretty horrible – to put it mildly.
“Yes, there are more people affected by this than just this little girl but hey, this is just meant to be a token of goodwill. Yes, there are other potential good causes – but I’ve picked this.
“I’d like to think that the parents of the little girl will spend this on a nice treat for her so that she knows that not everyone from the UK is horrible and that we care.
“No, I don’t think this will change the world. But it can do one thing for that little girl.”
— Joel Hughes (@Joel_Hughes) June 30, 2021
Hughes gave a further update on Thursday afternoon.
“Hi all, So yeah – I’m blown away by your support. It’s obviously really struck a chord. Thank you,” he wrote.
“The situation is that I’m going to be spending a couple of days trying to track down her parents (I’m away at the moment on holiday.
“Now, it may well be that I either can’t track them down or (for their own valid reasons) they don’t want to be found. And, if that’s the case, obviously we’ll need to refund you (or some of you may wish to donate to a similar cause). Either way, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Featured Image Credit: ITV