A petition calling for those who racially abuse players to be handed lifelong bans from all football matches has surpassed 1,000,000 signatures.
The Change.org petition was set up just two days ago in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final, which saw England be defeated by Italy 3-2 in the penalty shootouts.
Footballers Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho each missed their penalties and, as a result, were all sent vile racial slurs and monkey emojis on social media by internet trolls immediately after the match.
Following the shocking abuse, there was an immediate uproar across the whole country and calls for the government to take stricter action on racist trolls intensified.
Boris Johnson told racists to ‘crawl back under their rock’ in a speech on Monday – though he is yet to take any official action.
But now, more than one million people have put pressure on the Government and the game’s governing body to introduce lifetime football bans for anyone who targets a player offline or online.
Under the current law, the maximum football banning order is just ten years – and this can only be issued for a maximum of five unless the offence it relates to carries an immediate custodial sentence. Clubs themselves can choose to issue lifetime bans by adding fans to box office blacklists and denying them access to grounds – however, this isn’t currently enforced by the courts or police.
The petition, titled ‘Ban racists for life from all football matches in England’, calls upon the Football Association and the government to work together to ban all those who have carried out racist abuse, online or offline, from all football matches across the country for life.
The petition’s description reads: “We could not be more proud or inspired by our magnificent team and by their talent, bravery, leadership and love for all.
“Gareth Southgate’s England team plays for ALL of us. Their vision is an inclusive vision and this matters more than EVER – it’s why we feel proud of this team and why they’re so cherished and loved by many of us.
“There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society. Our England team stood up for all of us – now we must stand up for them.”
At the time of writing, the petition has garnered a staggering 1,009,403 signatures – a milestone from the 100,000 needed for the issue to be debated in parliament.
For more information and to sign the petition yourself, visit the Change.org site here.
Elizabeths can ride for free at East Lancashire Railway to celebrate Queen’s Jubilee
Those who share a name with the monarch will get to explore some of the best hidden gems along the Irwell Valley for free
All Elizabeths, Lizs and Lizzies will soon have the chance to enjoy a free ride along a vintage rail route in aid of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
To mark Queen Elizabeth’s seventieth year on the throne, East Lancashire Railway is offering a free ride on one of its heritage steam locomotives for all those who share the same name as her Majesty.
The train will embark upon a twelve-mile vintage rail route between Heywood in Greater Manchester and Rawtenstall, Lancashire.
The railway is also offering free rides across all its other services, giving all Elizabeths the chance to explore some of the best hidden gems along the Irwell Valley including pubs, restaurants and more.
From June 3rd – 5th, each station along the line will be celebrating the era of the Queen’s coronation with food, vintage stalls and music from the likes of the Washboard Resonators, the Rum and Cola Girls, and Kitty LaMare.
Guests have also been encouraged to get involved with the festivities and dress like the decade.
They will also get the chance to see once-in-a-lifetime flyovers from classic Spitfire and Hurricanes, as well as a special speech commemorating the Jubilee by Sharman Birtles MBE JP DL, Vice Lord-Lieutenant.
East Lancashire Railway chairman Mike Kelly said of the occasion: “This is going to be a truly unforgettable and magical weekend in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“We have a jam packed schedule across the entire weekend from food and drinks from the era to vintage fashion, people will be celebrating all across the country and we’re proud to be bringing the celebrations along the railway from Rawtenstall, through Bury and onto Heywood.
“Naturally, we’re delighted to be able to celebrate with Her Majesty The Queen and all those who share the royal name, so we hope this gives old and new visitors the chance to enjoy an unforgettable and unique experience of travelling on the East Lancashire Railway.”
Elizabeths will be able to claim the offer from May 27th until June 2nd, ahead of the railway’s Jubilee bash, which takes place from June 3rd to June 5th.
Click here to buy tickets for the Jubilee event, or for more information, contact East Lancashire Railway on 0333 320 2830.
Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn quietly welcome second daughter
Fans of the singer didn’t even know he and his wife were expecting a second child
Ed Sheeran surprised fans this week by announcing that he and his wife Cherry Seaborn had welcomed their second daughter.
In a heartwarming Instagram post, the ‘Shape of You’ singer revealed that he and Cherry are ‘over the moon’ to be a family of four, adding that they are ‘so in love’ with their new daughter.
In a similar manner to the announcement of their first daughter, Ed posted a photo of a pair of baby socks, writing: “Want to let you all know we’ve had another beautiful baby girl.
“We are both so in love with her, and over the moon to be a family of 4.”
Ed didn’t reveal what they have named their daughter, or when the little girl was born.
A spokesperson for the singer later told The Sun: “Ed and Cherry recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl and are on cloud nine.
“They’re so excited for Lyra to have a little sister and the four of them are currently enjoying some precious family time before Ed heads back on tour.
“We are delighted for them, and we hope that you can respect their privacy at this special time.”
Ed and Cherry welcomed their first daughter Lyra back in September 2020, with the couple sharing a photo of baby socks alongside the caption: “Ello! A quick message from me as I have some personal news that I wanted to share with you.
“Last week, with the help of an amazing delivery team, Cherry gave birth to our beautiful and healthy daughter – Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.
“We are completely in love with her. Both mum and baby are doing amazing and we are on cloud nine over here.
“We hope that you can respect our privacy at this time. Lots of love and I’ll see you when it’s time to come back, Ed.”
Woman ‘attacked by dog’ close to where toddler was mauled to death in Rochdale
The woman claims the dog was ‘hanging’ on her arms
A woman has spoken of her experience of being attacked by a dog just yards away from where a toddler was killed in Rochdale.
Three-year-old Daniel John Twigg died in hospital on Sunday May 15th following a ‘devastating’ dog attack in Milnrow, Rochdale.
Officers were called out to a property near Carr Lane at around 1:15pm, where the youngster was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
There, he was sadly pronounced dead.
In the wake of Daniel’s death, a young woman has claimed that she too was mauled by a dog while walking on a footpath just yards from where the fatal attack happened.
The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, told the Manchester Evening News that she was bitten by a Cane Corso – the breed that was confirmed as being involved in Daniel’s death – less than 100 yards from the scene.
She said: “The dog wasn’t on a lead. It was hanging off my arms and tugging at me. It bit me on my side.”
The woman says she was left with horrific injuries to her arms and ribs, and has been left with life-long scars to her arms.
She reported the incident to the police, but was told that officers would not be visiting the farm if there were ‘dangerous dogs on the loose’.
The woman believes the attack was captured on CCTV, but claims police said there was no evidence of what she was alleging.
She said: “They said there was no proof. I don’t think they ever went up there. They just wouldn’t do anything.
“I asked them if they were going to wait until someone was dead to do something.”
As part of a complex investigation, detectives say they are reviewing ‘other incidents of note’.
In an emotional statement released by GMP, Daniel’s family said he ‘was a happy, kind and caring little boy who was loved by all who knew him’.
The statement read: “He loved Paw Patrol and playing with his brother and sister, he also loved being around animals – especially his pony, Splash. He brought us many laughs and was a comical character. He was brave, intelligent and full of many characteristics.
“Daniel loved being with his whole family and will be missed by all. On behalf of our family, we ask people to respect our privacy.”
Anyone with information is asked to share it with police via 0161 856 7386 quoting Operation Guernsey or https://mipp.police.uk/operation/06GMP22P28-PO1.
Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.