Dad challenges trolls who targeted his daughter with Down's syndrome after he posted a video of her dancing at a football match
2 May 2019, 11:13 | Updated: 2 May 2019, 11:44
Tottenham Hotspur has said it will take 'appropriate action' when it finds those responsible
A dad who posted an adorable video of his daughter dancing at a football match to Twitter was targeted by vile trolls who mocked her for being disabled.
Neil Markham posted the clip of his daughter Ella, 16, who has Down's syndrome, dancing after their team Tottenham lost 0-1 to West Ham at Spurs' stadium.
He captioned the post: "The result is never the most important thing #COYS 💙", but was shocked to find that scorned football fans targeted his child.
Among the number of vile tweets aimed at he and Ella, one reads: "When Mr Tumble takes the kids on a trip out.”
Another vile troll wrote: “F**k off r****d, we lost.”
Rather than ignore the trolls, brave Neil decided to give them his telephone number and invite them to call him to discuss their comments.
He appeared on This Morning yesterday with Ella to tell Holly and Phil about the ordeal, revealing that just one of the trolls rang him to hurl abuse.
A huge thanks to every single person that works on @thismorning for everything you did for us. Wonderful caring people. @hollywills & @Schofe too you made Ella feel very special. She’s had a great day and will never forget it pic.twitter.com/5QyZhb2Uc7— Neil Markham (@NeilMarkham1) May 1, 2019
"I sat at home on Saturday evening and I was reading one and then another, I showed a couple to my wife - I didn't show them all to be honest, she didn't need to see all of them," he said.
"And then when everyone had gone to bed, I had a few hours to myself and thought, 'Well how am I going to deal with it?' And I thought the only way I could do is to confront them."
"Only one person called me. They called me a couple of times, I believe they were linked to one of the people that trolled, if you like," Neil explained."I couldn't tell you on here what they said."
Phillip asked: "So they were abusive down the phone?"
Neil then replied: "Yes. In a way, I can't have it both ways, I can't put my number out there and then moan when people ring me.
"It's very easy to hide behind fake accounts."
This is Ella. Im not asking you to say how beautiful she is or for you to like the post. All I really want after tonight is to treat her as a normal person who would smile at you and doesn’t deserve to have have fun poked at her pic.twitter.com/fnGq9V5elH— Neil Markham (@NeilMarkham1) April 27, 2019
Viewers rushed to Twitter to voice their support of Neil, with one writing: "Why are some people so nasty! She's a beautiful girl and fair play to her dad."
Another added: "What a fantastic dad you are @NeilMarkham1. Never stop dancing Ella you gorgeous girl!"