Wales supporter hits out after The Sun credits ‘England fans’ with raising money for crying German girl
A Wales supporter has hit out after The Sun credited “England fans” with raising money for a crying German girl.
Welshman Joel Hughes, who set up a fund after the girl was cruelly mocked online following England’s victory over Germany at Wembley, criticised the tabloid newspaper for its headline which said England supporters have raised £25,000.
The little girl was the subject of shameful abuse after she was pictured crying on television and on the big screen at the stadium.
The story has gone viral since Joel launched his crowdfunder, and he has so far raised more than £31,000 after initially setting a £500 target.
The headline in The Sun said: “TEAR WE GO England fans raise £25,000 for young Germany fan caught crying on TV after Wembley loss to Three Lions at Euro 2020.”
The article went on: “THREE LIONS supporters have donated tens of thousands of pounds for a tearful young Germany fan spotted sobbing after her nation’s Euros loss to England.”
Joel Hughes responded to the article with: “English Fans??! No mate, Welsh fan! Singular!”
The article does go on to add: “Generous fans opened their wallets after Welshman Joel Hughes created a JustGiving page for the girl whose reaction to Joachim Low’s team’s exit was cruelly ridiculed.”
Joel, a 51-year-old, who runs his own web development company in Pontypridd, is now trying to find the girl’s family so he can hand over the money “to show this little German supporter that not everyone in the UK is horrible.”
“I’ve been blown away by the response,” he says. “Many people seem to get that this is a lot more than just about a girl crying.
“This is about empathy and about taking a stand against the negativity out there.”
The search continues for the little girl’s family with newspapers in the UK and Germany running the story.
“It’s all been very positive and there has been lots of interest, but if we don’t find the parents, or they don’t want to come forward, we will donate the money to a good cause most closely aligned with the spirit of the campaign,” says Joel.
Joel started the crowdfunder after a tweet from former football turned pundit, Stan Collymore.
“I saw his tweet highlighting the abuse the little girl was getting,” he says. “I can’t stand seeing that kind of bullying online.
“I think this kind of xenophobia is worse since Brexit. And almost encouraged by the UK Government.
“So I thought I would try to do something. A small thing. Not something that would change the world, or change the minds of those who wrote nasty stuff about the little girl. But something none the less.
“And if it means we can put a smile on that girl’s face, then job done.”