Sickening Twitter messages sent to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy condemned by rival fans
Football fans have rallied behind Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy after he was sent vile abuse on Twitter.
A handful of people purporting to be Blackpool supporters vented their frustrations – wishing harm on Vardy's wife and daughter – following Leicester's 1-0 victory over their side at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The messages followed a controversial penalty won by the Leicester number 9, which was then converted by teammate Ben Marshall for the only goal of the game.
One Twitter member, who says his name is Phillip Quatre and who tweets as @phil_bfcquatre, wrote on the social networking website: "I hope everyone associated with you does (dies) of Aids.
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Another Twitter member named Ryan Powell, who tweets as @powellBFC93, wrote: "Sort yourself out, you'll be back in League 2 in a few years, (you) deserve all abuse you get."
The Mercury has removed a barrage of abusive words from the tweets.
Vardy responded in messages he sent to fellow City players.
To Ritchie De Laet, Vardy wrote: "Can take the abuse and banter mate, bringing my family into it absolutely below the belt."
Blackpool fans also rushed to the City striker's defence, apologising for the remarks and chastising their fellow supporters.
Martin Slater, who tweets as @Martin_Slates, wrote: "I'm a Blackpool fan but it is totally wrong if someone is talking about your family on here."
Si Walford, who tweets as @siwalford, wrote: "I can only apologise for the morons, as a 47-year-old loyal Blackpool fan for 39 years."
Glenn Bowley, chairman of the Blackpool Supporters' Club, told the Mercury: "The comments don't represent the views of Blackpool fans. It's obviously a passionate and frustrating game at times, but to send messages about players' families is beyond the pale.
"Social media has given fans the platform to contact the players, and although most of the time it's lighthearted and there's a bit of banter, occasionally it gets nasty and that's totally unacceptable."
City ambassador Alan Birchenall said: "People who send abuse on things such as Twitter haven't got the guts to stand up and say something to someone's face – they're cowards."
A spokesman for Leicester City said: "Personal abuse of this nature is entirely unacceptable. Fortunately, it is not representative of the vast majority of people who use social networking platforms."
He said one of the people who had sent Vardy abuse had since been in contact with City "to issue a full apology to Jamie and we now consider the matter to be closed". He did not say who.
The abuse has not been reported to the police.
The latest incident is reminiscent of abuse suffered by Leicester City players David Nugent and Paul Gallagher.
In January, Nugent, a former Portsmouth player, was sent messages from rival Southampton fans after helping City to victory against the Saints.
Twitter user DJRogan91 posted: "I hope all your family die of Aids. Are you and your missus dead?"
A barrage of offensive tweets was also sent to Paul Gallagher's wife, Hayley, after she wrote a tweet last season congratulating her club, Blackburn Rovers, on winning a game in the Premiership.