Football clubs, MPs and celebrities from the North East have condemned racist abuse of England players following the team's defeat in the Euro 2020 final.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed penalties in the shoot out on Sunday night, July 11, which resulted in Italy's 3-2 win.
The players' social media pages were bombarded with racist comments following the game - and in Greater Manchester, a mural of Rashford was defaced.
Manager Gareth Southgate condemned the abuse as "unforgivable" on Monday during his post-match press conference.
He added: “We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together, in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue."
Show Racism the Red Card, which was founded in the region, published a statement condemning what it called the "vile and disgusting racist abuse" players faced overnight.
It said: "No matter what their colour, no matter where they were brought up, they have worked together as a group to go further than any England side in the past 55 years, to make their country proud for the past month."
The organisation also called for action from the government to hold social media companies and individuals to account.
Paul Kearns, Show Racism the Red Card
Priti Patel, Secretary of State, said: "I am disgusted that England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media. It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.
Clubs speak out
Sunderland AFC said on Twitter the club was "proud" of the team, adding: "We stand with England and strongly condemn the abhorrent online racism aimed at some players following last night's game.
"As a group and as individuals, this group has consistently displayed leadership, character and class on and off the pitch."
Meanwhile Middlesbrough FC released a statement on its website titles "Teesside's Pride in England's Euro 2020 Efforts" where it congratulated the team on its performance.
It said: "Gareth and England, we’re proud of you. And we’re proud to have played our part in history."
And Newcastle United posted on Twitter: "You've done the nation proud."
In a thread on Twitter, Any McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough, said: "We cannot let racism & the racist minority prevail. Gareth Southgate is a hero and that wonderful & culturally diverse team are all heroes. They embody the very best of British values."
Dehenna Davison, Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland, said: "Woke up feeling glum. Partly about the result, but largely about the fact that, in 2021, people are still subject to vile, racist abuse. There’s absolutely no place for racism in our society."She added the three players who were targeted online were "heroes".
And reality TV star Vicky Pattinson added her support to the England players on Instagram where she praised the team, but spoke of "heartbreak" in seeing racist abuse.
She said: "The fact is, if you have watched them play, thrown your support behind them and heralded them as heroes when they were winning but choose to racially abuse them now that things haven’t gone your way you ought to be ashamed of yourself."
Fellow reality star Amber Gill posted an image of online abuse on Instagram stories with a caption that read "This makes me so sad."
She went on to say: "The boys are so so young and it is an immense amount of pressure that few will understand.
'They will already feel a type of way about what happened last night and now they have to deal with racism on top from their 'fans'. Racism is completely unacceptable winning or losing the game."
And adding their support for the players, Ant and Dec thanked the team on Twitter.
"Don’t worry about coming up slightly short, we’ve done it for years," they said. "Thanks for giving us all something to believe in after such a dark time. You have all been inspirational. The future is bright."