Letters to the Three Lions and mural show North East support to players in wake of abuse


Support continues to pour in across the region for England players who missed their spot kicks in the last moments of the Euros final.

Letters have been penned by schoolchildren in Jarrow while a mural at Darlington's Arthur Wharton Foundation has been updated with the shirt numbers of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

The show of humanity comes in the wake of a barrage of racist online abuse directed at the players who missed their penalties in Sunday's agonising defeat to Italy.

That, along with the defacing of a mural of Marcus Rashford, has restarted the conversation about racism in the country again.

Children at St Bede's RC Primary School in Jarrow were keen to write letters of support to the players this week.

In one letter from a pupil Sophie to Marcus Rashford, she says: "You inspire us all, you deserve better."

In another a pupil describes Jadon Sancho as a "role model to plenty of England fans" while one student addresses 19-year-old Bukayo Sancho and commends the team for reaching the final.

Darlington's tribute to Rashford, Saka and Sancho

And there was no better time to appreciate the sentiment of Darlington's tribute to Britain's first black professional footballer Arthur Wharton.

In May, a mural was painted on the external walls of the Arthur Wharton Foundation featuring the Euro Cup with the English Rose and the Scottish Thistle, with respective emblems, in celebration of the two nations.

This week the walls of the foundation, in Widdowfield Street, have had the numbers 25, 17 and 11 - the shirt numbers of Saka, Sancho and Rashford - added alongside the Euros mural.

The Arthur Wharton Foundation has paid tribute to the England players with an addition to its mural Credit: ARTHUR WHARTON FOUNDATION
Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were targeted with abuse after missing penalties Credit: ARTHUR WHARTON FOUNDATION
An image of the England squad is projected over a mural paying tribute to Rashford, Saka and Rancho Credit: ARTHUR WHARTON FOUNDATION

Shaun Campbell, founder of the Arthur Wharton Foundation, said the best thing to come out in the aftermath of Sunday's final was an "overwhelming show of support".