- A Spurs fan with Down’s Syndrome was viciously trolled online when her father posted a video of her dancing following a recent match.
- After word of the trolling spread, she received an outpouring of support from other fans.
- Harry Kane sent a video to the family inviting her to be a mascot for an upcoming match.
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The father of Ella Markham, a Spurs fan with Down’s Syndrome who was viciously trolled online, today said she was “like a kid at Christmas time” after Harry Kane invited her to be a mascot.
Ella became the victim of horrific online abuse when her father, Neil Markham, 43, from Banbury, shared a video of the 16-year-old dancing after Spurs’ defeat to West Ham on Saturday.
The father-of-three included the caption “the result is never the most important thing” alongside the adorable video of Ella dancing which was filmed during her first visit to the new stadium.
After he filmed the moment, observed by another group of fans, Mr Markham said his daughter told her mother: “They lost but I made them smile.”
Ella received an outpouring of support from Spurs fans and players after her father highlighted the abuse she had received and the club have now invited her to be a mascot at Spurs v Everton on May 12.
The message was delivered by the club’s star striker and England captain Harry Kane who sent a video clip inviting her to the match.
In the clip, Spurs star striker Kane said: “We know you’re family are proud of you. We know you’re a big fan and would love for you to come down and be a mascot for the last game of the season against Everton.
“Keep dancing, keep doing what you’re doing, Lots of love.”
The whole family are going to watch Ella step out in front of fans, Mr Markham said.
“On Saturday night, I must admit I thought that I would never take my daughter to a match again and now she is going to the next league game as a guest of the team,” he said.
“She could not be happier.”
Receiving the video whilst on the train from London, Mr Markham said despite the dodgy connection Ella was immediately ecstatic.
“They sent through the video when we were on the train so the wi-fi wasn’t great” he said.
“But she was so excited just to see his name on the screen let alone what followed.
“She took an intake of breath, hand over her mouth, and she was just very excited and waved at him.
“It was really really nice. She was like a kid at Christmas time.”
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mr Markham said the last few days had gone from being horrific to a “massive high.”
“I want to give a huge thanks from all of us for the wave of support we have had – it turned a massive low into an extreme high that we are still riding at the moment,” said the father-of-three.
He explained that he had posted about his children online before so was completely shocked when they received nasty messages on Saturday night.
“I got some comments from people saying I must have known this was going to happen.
“If they thought I knew I was going to expose my daughter to something like this, then they are very wrong.”
Most people who were trolling the post were anonymous and many of their accounts have been suspended.
But at the time Mr Markham refused to delete the account or turn off Twitter, choosing instead to hit back at trolls because he wanted to “protect” his daughter.
“This is my daughter. She is not a figure of fun,” he said.
He now plans to become involved in cyber bullying activism after the experience of Saturday: “It has become very personal to me because of what happened.”
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