Welsh football fan suffers online abuse after raising thousands for little girl


A Welsh football fan has been subjected to online abuse after raising thousands for a young German fan who was mocked online after England’s victory over Germany in the Euros.

Joel Hughes, 51, has raised more than £36,000 after setting up a JustGiving page for the little girl who was seen crying on TV and on the big screen at Wembley when Germany was knocked out of Euro 2020 by England.

Mr Hughes said he has now been abused online with fake profiles set up in his name and old tweets being taken out of context.

Some people have accused him online of being a scammer and a paedophile.

A girl in tears after Germany lose to England in Euro 2020

“The abuse is horrendous and it’s targeting my family. They are posting my private details online,” he said.

“I am getting so much abuse which is ironic seeing as I am raising money for a girl who is getting online abuse.”

The father-of-two, from Pontypridd, started the fundraiser after seeing a tweet from pundit Stan Collymore highlighting the abuse and Joel said he had to do something.

“I saw the tweet from Stan Collymore and I saw the comments and I thought it was pretty disgusting how people can say that about a little girl crying.”

Mr Hughes, who works as a web developer, said: ” I want her and her parents to know that we are not all idiots here in the UK.”

He said: “It has all snowballed. It started off with me putting £50 in and then a few other people putting some money in and I thought it would be nice if we could get the girl something and it went on from there.”

Mr Hughes has received a lot of abuse with some people telling him he should not be donating the money to the little girl.

“I am fairly resilient but I can imagine how this would be incredibly damaging to someone,” he said.

“It is frightening the lengths that these people will go to attack me.

“This isn’t going to change the world but I want to do something nice for her.”

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Mr Hughes said JustGiving is helping him track down the little girl. He said if he can’t find her he will find another appropriate charity. The fundraising page has now closed having raised a total of £36,180.

“Everything I am doing is with the guidance of JustGiving. There are so many people trying to pick holes because they want the campaign to fail,” he said.

Mr Hughes said he has reported the abuse to the police.

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