Mural honouring Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho defaced with racist graffiti

Credit: PA

A mural painted in honour of England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in County Durham has been daubed with racist graffiti.

The mural, in Darlington, was painted after the trio faced a torrent of racist abuse for missing penalties at the Euro 2020 final last Sunday. The wall displays the numbers 25, 17 and 11 - the players' shirt numbers.

On Friday night, the mural was defaced. One sentence reads "we do not stand with the 3 Black Lions".

The Arthur Wharton Foundation has paid tribute to the England players with an addition to its mural Credit: ARTHUR WHARTON FOUNDATION

A spokeswoman for Durham Constabulary said: “Officers are investigating following reports of damage to the Arthur Wharton mural, in Darlington... enquiries are ongoing."

It comes a week after a mural of Rashford in Manchester was defaced. Graffiti was sprayed across the artwork hours after England's defeat to Italy.

The lettering was difficult to make out over the black and white image of the Manchester United forward.

Police investigating the vandalism of the Manchester mural said on Friday the graffiti is “not believed to be of a racial nature”.

Thousands of messages of support were added to the mural after the attack Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

On Saturday, around 100 demonstrators gathered opposite Downing Street in solidarity with Rashford, Saka and Sancho.

Protesters chanted “love football, hate racism”, and heard from speakers including former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

“The government wants to have its cake and eat it… Priti Patel called taking the knee gesture politics,” Ms Abbott said.

“I’ll tell you what gesture politics is, it’s condemning the England players throughout the tournament and then putting on an England shirt in the semi-finals.”