Police have contacted the family of a young football fan who died from cancer after two people appeared to mock him at Sheffield Wednesday’s clash with Sunderland.
Two people were pictured holding up a phone appearing to show Bradley Lowery’s face as they laughed following the club’s 3-0 Championship defeat to Sunderland.
After the incident, Sheffield Wednesday said they had launched an investigation with South Yorkshire Police.
Bradley’s parents Carl and Gemma Lowery have also been visited by Durham Police after receiving multiple calls and messages regarding the photos after they circulated on social media, according to a Facebook post on The Bradley Lowery Foundation page, which was set up by Mrs Lowery.
“Understandably people are angry, if I wasn’t so upset I’d be angry too,” the post said.
“Bradley was and still is well-loved in the football community, which I’m eternally grateful for, but I must ask that everyone lets the police do their job, and deal with the low-lives.
“Thank you all for your kind words, it has really helped and let’s do what we do best at The Bradley Lowery Foundation and turn this negative into a positive.”
The six-year-old was a mascot for England and Sunderland and struck up a close friendship with striker Jermain Defoe, who called him his “best mate”.
He suffered from rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma, which was diagnosed when he was 18-months-old.
Sheffield Wednesday said in a statement that it condemns what it called “outrageous and utterly deplorable behaviour”.
“We can only apologise for the undoubted distress caused to Bradley’s family and friends,” the club wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Earlier on Saturday, The Bradley Lowery Foundation shared photos of the incident, saying they were “so sad for me to see”.
“Whatever happened to ‘cancer has no colours’ let alone respect for a family that lost their baby to cancer.”
South Yorkshire Police confirmed they were investigating “public order offences” in a post on X directly under a picture widely circulated of the two fans.
They were working with the club on identifying the men and appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.