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Protesters gather at mural of Marcus Rashford in Manchester for anti-racism demonstration

Anti-racism campaigners are tonight gathering at the mural of footballer Marcus Rashford to show solidarity with the England star after he was targeted by online trolls.

Stand Up To Racism is holding a demonstration at the mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington, Manchester.

Members of the group have been seen holding aloft signs with ‘Black Lives Matter‘ and ‘No Justice No Peace’ in front of the painted tribute this evening.

It comes after the star, 23, was racially abused by online trolls after missing a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 defeat to Italy on Sunday night.

His mural was also defaced in what is being investigated by police as a possible ‘hate crime‘, with derogatory comments about Rashford and included the words ‘sh**e’ and ‘b*****d’. 

Further graffiti said ‘f**k Sancho’ in reference to Three Lions teammate Jadon Sancho who also missed a penalty during the shoot-out.

The mural has since been repaired and is now covered in messages of support from England fans, who have left notes, flags and shirts on the wall in solidarity with the star. 

Stand Up To Racism’s protest began at 6pm tonight, with more than 200 people saying on Facebook that they were planning  to attend the event.

Organisers promoted the event on Facebook with a post that read: ‘Take the knee at the mural of Marcus Rashford in solidarity with the players and #BlackLivesMatter movement. Solidarity is our response to the hatred and racism.’ 

Anti-racism protesters are tonight gathering at the mural of footballer Marcus Rashford to show solidarity with the England star after he was targeted by online trolls

The group, Stand Up To Racism, is holding a demonstration at the mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington, Manchester

The group, Stand Up To Racism, is holding a demonstration at the mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington, Manchester

Demonstrators have been seen holding aloft signs with 'Black Lives Matter' and 'No Justice No Peace' in front of the painted tribute this evening

Demonstrators have been seen holding aloft signs with ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘No Justice No Peace’ in front of the painted tribute this evening

Anti-racism protestors carried signs with the face of George Floyd, who was murdered in the US by police officers as they arrested him

Fans also held up signs saying Black Lives Matter and No Justice No Peace

Anti-racism protestors carried signs with the face of George Floyd, who was murdered in the US by police officers as they arrested him. Pictured right: Fans also held up signs saying Black Lives Matter and No Justice No Peace

It comes after fans covered the mural in messages of support after it was defaced by vandals in what police are investigating as a 'hate crime'

It comes after fans covered the mural in messages of support after it was defaced by vandals in what police are investigating as a ‘hate crime’

Earlier, crowds of football fans gathered at the mural of Marcus Rashford which was repainted earlier today after being daubed with 'racist' graffiti in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache

Earlier, crowds of football fans gathered at the mural of Marcus Rashford which was repainted earlier today after being daubed with ‘racist’ graffiti in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache

The mural's original creator, French-born artist Akse, today repainted the artwork to eradicate all trace of the abuse with crowds gathered to see the refreshed piece

The mural’s original creator, French-born artist Akse, today repainted the artwork to eradicate all trace of the abuse with crowds gathered to see the refreshed piece

The mural has been covered with messages of support since England's defeat to Italy on Sunday night, in which Rashford missed a penalty in the shoot-out

The mural has been covered with messages of support since England’s defeat to Italy on Sunday night, in which Rashford missed a penalty in the shoot-out

People have left written notes, messages on paper love hearts and England flags and tops on the mural in support of Rashford, who was racially abused online in the aftermath of England's defeat

People have left written notes, messages on paper love hearts and England flags and tops on the mural in support of Rashford, who was racially abused online in the aftermath of England’s defeat

The mural of Marcus Rashford which was daubed with racist graffiti in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache has been repainted

The mural of Marcus Rashford which was daubed with racist graffiti in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache has been repainted

Now the mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington, Manchester, has been restored by its original creator French-born artist Akse

Now the mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington, Manchester, has been restored by its original creator French-born artist Akse

Residents had wasted little time in rushing to cover up the abuse with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star - including terms such as 'hero', 'inspiration' and 'role model'

Residents had wasted little time in rushing to cover up the abuse with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star - including terms such as 'hero', 'inspiration' and 'role model'

Residents had wasted little time in rushing to cover up the abuse with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star – including terms such as ‘hero’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘role model’ 

One heartfelt letter taped to the mural began: 'You need to know how much you are loved, admired and respected - I really hope you do'

One heartfelt letter taped to the mural began: ‘You need to know how much you are loved, admired and respected – I really hope you do’

Residents gathered on the street in Withington, Manchester, to watch the mural being repainted after its was daubed with derogatory comments about Rashford

Residents gathered on the street in Withington, Manchester, to watch the mural being repainted after its was daubed with derogatory comments about Rashford

It comes after the England star, 23, penned an emotional open letter to England fans apologising for his penalty shoot-out miss against Italy at Wembley on Sunday

It comes after the England star, 23, penned an emotional open letter to England fans apologising for his penalty shoot-out miss against Italy at Wembley on Sunday 

ITV shares a message of support following racist abuse aimed at Three Lions players

ITV has shared a message of support after members of the England side suffered racist abuse on social media following their Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.

The broadcaster featured a black and white photo of the team taking the knee across its social media accounts and took out ads in national newspapers on Tuesday.

The image was captioned with the words: ‘Together we will never lose. ITV Stand with England.’

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all subjected to abusive posts in the wake of their missed penalties in the decisive shoot-out at Wembley on Sunday.

Figures including David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton, England manager Gareth Southgate, members of government and the Duke of Cambridge united to condemn the abuse.

ITV worked with Uncommon Creative Studio to produce the message, completing the project within 24 hours.

They worked with the company on an anti-racism ad last year in support of dance group Diversity following their Black Lives Matter-inspired performance on ITV show Britain’s Got Talent.

The performance saw a man in a police uniform kneel on dancer Ashley Banjo, echoing the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in the US and sparking more than 24,000 complaints to Ofcom.

ITV’s print ad showed Banjo taking the knee captioned with the words: ‘We are changed by what we see. Just as we are changed when we are seen. ITV Stand with Diversity.’

 

It comes as residents wasted little time in rushing to cover up the abuse with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star – including terms such as ‘hero’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘role model’.  

One touching message read: ‘I can take or leave football but I cannot take or leave people like you. Thank you for your passion, compassion and desire to change lives.’

Another said: ‘Dear Marcus, please know that you are so admired and people find you an inspiration.’ 

But now the mural’s original creator, French-born artist Akse, has repainted the artwork to eradicate all trace of the abuse with crowds gathered to see the refreshed piece.  

The demonstration comes after the England star, 23, penned an emotional open letter to fans apologising for his penalty miss against Italy at Wembley on Sunday.

The striker, who was left visibly distraught after his penalty hit the post, had also paid tribute to his supportive teammates and vowed to ‘come back stronger’ after the heartbreaking final.

Speaking in an open letter posted on his Twitter account, the star said: ‘The messages I have received have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

‘The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. 

‘I’m a 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. 

‘If I have nothing else, I have that.’

Earlier in the open letter he apologised for his penalty miss against Italy, saying ‘I felt as though I’d let everyone down’.

‘It’s been playing over in my head over and over since and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels,’ he said. 

‘Final. 55-years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently.’

The striker also praised his teammates by saying it was the ‘best camps I’ve experienced’ and adding that an ‘unbreakable brotherhood’ had been formed.

He also tackled the abuse he had faced, saying he would ‘never apologise’ for being himself, before ending on a positive note by vowing to bounce back from the heartache, saying: ‘For all the kind messages, thank you.

‘I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.’ 

Meanwhile Greater Manchester Police called the defacing of the Rashford mural a ‘racially aggravated’ act of vandalism.

In a statement, GMP slammed the ‘racially aggravated’ and ‘disgraceful’ damage, adding: ‘Hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.

‘The force was alerted at around 2.50am this morning. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.’

Chief Superintendent Paul Savill said: ‘This is disgraceful behaviour and will absolutely not be tolerated. 

‘Greater Manchester prides itself on being made up from a number of diverse communities, and hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.

‘GMP takes crimes of this nature very seriously and an investigation has been launched. If anyone has any information that could help us to identify this offender please do not hesitate to speak to police.’

Protesters gather at mural of Marcus Rashford in Manchester for anti-racism demonstration

Hundreds of well-wishers have flooded the mural of Marcus Rashford with positive notes and messages after it was defaced in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache

Residents wasted little time in rushing to cover up the abuse with embellishments still streaming in all daubed with inspirational terms including 'hero', 'inspiration' and 'role model'

Residents wasted little time in rushing to cover up the abuse with embellishments still streaming in all daubed with inspirational terms including ‘hero’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘role model’

Greater Manchester Police called the defacing of the Rashford mural a 'racially aggravated' act of vandalism as the community rallied round

Greater Manchester Police called the defacing of the Rashford mural a ‘racially aggravated’ act of vandalism as the community rallied round

The racist graffiti daubed on a mural of Marcus Rashford in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache has been covered with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star

The racist graffiti daubed on a mural of Marcus Rashford in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache has been covered with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star

The racist graffiti daubed on a mural of Marcus Rashford in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache has been covered with hundreds of positive notes and messages praising the England star

The mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington has been swamped with hundreds of positive notes and messages

The mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington has been swamped with hundreds of positive notes and messages

The embellishments were all daubed with a range of uplifting and supportive phrases including 'positive', 'role model', and 'an asset to the country'

The embellishments were all daubed with a range of uplifting and supportive phrases including ‘positive’, ‘role model’, and ‘an asset to the country’

The artwork was created by Akse, a French-born graffiti artist, in November 2020. A painting of Rashford appears alongside the phrase: ‘Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose’. 

The Football Association has condemned the ‘disgusting behaviour’ of a small number of mindless social media users who aimed abuse at players in the wake of England’s loss to the Italians.

England manager Gareth Southgate yesterday described abuse of Rashford, Sancho and Bukayo Saka as ‘unforgivable’ after they were targeted by racists overnight after they missed penalties. 

He spoke out after Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson denounced the racist abuse.

Southgate left little doubt of his feelings towards so-called supporters who had fired racist remarks at his team. He said: ‘It’s just not what we stand for. 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.

‘We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together. It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.’

Protesters gather at mural of Marcus Rashford in Manchester for anti-racism demonstration

The artwork, which was created by French-born artist Akse in November 2020, was defaced in what is being investigated by police as a possible 'hate crime'

The artwork, which was created by French-born artist Akse in November 2020, was defaced in what is being investigated by police as a possible ‘hate crime’

Further graffiti said 'f**k Sancho' - a reference to Rashford's Three Lions teammate Jadon Sancho who also missed a penalty in the biggest game for England since the 1966 World Cup

Further graffiti said ‘f**k Sancho’ – a reference to Rashford’s Three Lions teammate Jadon Sancho who also missed a penalty in the biggest game for England since the 1966 World Cup

The mural (pictured during creation) on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington, Manchester, depicts Rashford alongside the phrase: 'Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose'

The mural (pictured during creation) on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington, Manchester, depicts Rashford alongside the phrase: ‘Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose’

The Duke of Cambridge said he was ‘sickened’ by the racist abuse and called vile slurs at players ‘totally unacceptable’.

William, who was at the game on Sunday with his wife Kate Middleton and their seven-year-old son Prince George, called for those behind the messages to be punished.

In a statement, the duke said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.’

It came as Savills estate agent launched an investigation after claims a member of staff had been behind one of the messages.

A spokesperson said: ‘Savills abhors and has zero tolerance to any form of racism and racial discrimination and is appalled by the racist comments in these tweets.

‘Savills is immediately investigating and will take appropriate action.’

Rashford has since penned an emotional open letter to England fans apologising for his penalty miss against Italy at Wembley on Sunday

Rashford has since penned an emotional open letter to England fans apologising for his penalty miss against Italy at Wembley on Sunday

Mr Johnson echoed the Football Association’s condemnation of those attacking the players after the team lost to Italy. He said: ‘This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel also headed up figures slamming the racists.

She said: ‘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.’ 

Racist social media users instantly took to the accounts of the three black players who missed penalties in last night’s clash against Italy. 

The horrific comments, including racist language and emojis, have led to the FA condemning its racist fans and saying they are not ‘welcome in following in the team’ and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed its officers will be investigating. 

Meanwhile Savills estate agent launched an investigation after claims a member of staff had been behind one of the messages

Meanwhile Savills estate agent launched an investigation after claims a member of staff had been behind one of the messages 

The horrific comments have led to the FA condemning its racist fans and saying they are not 'welcome in following in the team' and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed its officers will be investigating

The horrific comments have led to the FA condemning its racist fans and saying they are not ‘welcome in following in the team’ and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed its officers will be investigating 

Thousands of others rallied to support the players, especially Saka, who lit up the tournament for England at the age of just 19.

Calling on those behind the abuse to face arrest and prosecution, one fan said: ‘I’ll take these three Englishmen over any racist-moron-fake-fan every day of the week and twice on a Sunday’.

Another wrote: ‘I stand with Rashford. I stand with Sancho. I stand with Saka. I stand with a whole team of brilliant men who made us all proud & represent the best this country has to offer I reject everything about the Racists & Shape Shifters who represent the worst’. 

A spokesman said: ‘The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.

‘We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka was inconsolable after he also failed to score his penalty kick which handed the victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka was inconsolable after he also failed to score his penalty kick which handed the victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

‘We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences. 

‘Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.’ 

And the Metropolitan Police confirmed it will be investigating the abuse and said: ‘We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final. 

‘This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.’

England players have taken the knee to support anti-racism drives throughout the tournament, a move that has drawn vocal criticism and boos from a section of their support. 

In turn the FA and senior players have attacked the boo-boys in the stands, stating their actions are precisely why the team feels a need to make a stand against racism. 

England lost the penalty shootout 3-2 after the match finished 1-1 after extra time.  

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