Man, 31, charged over alleged mocking of Bradley Lowery as thousands raised for charity

By John Mercury October 2, 2023

A 31-year-old man has been charged with a public order offence after an image of a six-year-old Sunderland fan who died of cancer was displayed at a football match.

Dale Houghton, from Rotherham, will appear before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning in connection to the incident, which took place at a match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland on Friday.

Police said they have also applied for a football banning order.

A 27-year-old man, also arrested on Saturday, has been released on police bail while further enquiries are conducted.

Houghton was remanded in custody.

Following the incident, more than £11,000 has been raised for The Bradley Lowery Foundation, a charity set up after his death in 2017.

The Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Women’s Supporters’ Group set up a GoFundMe page on Saturday, which has now smashed its initial £5,000 target.

The funds will go towards a holiday home that the foundation is building in Scarborough, to help bereaved families and children going through treatment.

In a statement, the foundation said it was “overwhelmed” by the support and wanted to thank everyone who has contacted the charity.

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Sheffield Wednesday also released a statement shortly after the incident apologising to Bradley’s friends and family.

The young football fan was diagnosed with rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma when he was just 18-months-old. He died in 2017.

On Sunday, Lynn Murphy, co-founder of the foundation, said Bradley brought rival teams within the game together.

“He went through some gruelling treatments, but he always did it with a smile on his face, and that smile is the thing that everyone remembers him for,” she told Sky News.

He was a mascot for both Sunderland and England and also struck up a close bond with striker Jermain Defoe, who called him his “best mate”.


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