A STRIKER who fired Fleetwood Town to promotion has hit out after receiving “below the belt” internet abuse following new club Leicester City’s victory against Blackpool FC.
Former Cod Army striker Jamie Vardy was targeted by Seasiders fans following Saturday’s game on social networking site Twitter.
Two Pool supporters tweeted the striker - who won Leicester a controversial penalty which secured them a 1-0 victory - singling him and his family out.
One of the pair, who said he had a season ticket at Bloomfield Road, later deleted the tweet and apologised profusely to Vardy.
The incident came just a month after a so-called Twitter troll was arrested for abusing Olympic diver Tom Daley, and just like the bronze medal-winner Vardy used his own Twitter page to hit back at his abusers.
The striker, who was the undisputed hero of Town’s promotion winning campaign last season, said: “I can take abuse from fans but saying you hope my family and daughter dies...”
And he added: “Can take the abuse and banter, bringing my family into it is absolutely below the belt.” Today, the abuse was widely condemned by Blackpool fans.
Glenn Bowley, chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Association, said: “The content of some of the tweets directed towards the Leicester City forward are distasteful and do not represent the views of the Blackpool Supporters.
“Football is a passionate and frustrating game at times but to make such sickening remarks and comments about an opposing player’s family is beyond the pale.
“Those guilty of sending such vile messages via social media should really consider their actions and think about whether they would like to receive such unpleasant tweets.”
Supporters also used the internet to hit out at the abusers, with fans voicing their disapproval on the social-networking site and on fans website avftt.com.
Tom Daley was the victim of abuse after missing out on a medal with partner Pete Waterfield at London 2012.
Teenager Reece Messer tweeted : “You let your dad down, I hope you know that”, a cruel reference to Daley’s father, who died in May last year following a battle with cancer.
Messer, 17, received a formal warning for harassment.