Football Team Has Incredible Response After Boy With Cerebral Palsy Was Abused Online
Fulham Football Club have been praised for the incredible response they had after hearing how a fan with cerebral palsy was abused online.
Thirteen-year-old Rhys Porter proved that he would not let his cerebral palsy and epilepsy stop him from doing what he loved as he joined Feltham Bees Football Club, a disability sports club associated with Brentford, and shared videos of his games on a dedicated TikTok account.
After sharing about four or five videos, a video of Porter saving a goal went viral, but also received an influx of hurtful comments from online trolls.
The teenager was bullied for his disability and told BBC Breakfast he didn’t want to go to football training after reading what people were saying about him online, but thankfully people also rallied around Porter and helped show him that he should not listen to the bullies.
Porter was invited to Wembley Stadium to train with the England cerebral palsy squad, as well as being welcomed as part of Fulham’s first-team squad on their website, where he also received a full profile.
The page dedicated to Porter reads:
Everyone at Fulham has been completely inspired by Rhys, and we wanted to show him just how impressed we’ve been with both his attitude in the face of adversity, and his commitment to helping others.
Rhys joined us at Craven Cottage for our match against Reading, meeting his heroes as well as partaking in a half-time Q&A with Ivan Berry, to rapturous applause from all inside the ground.
Fulham defender Tim Ream surprised the 13-year-old on BBC Breakfast this week, causing Porter to become emotional as he heard the player praise him.
He commented, ‘I showed my family his video and I just think, people see footballers as role models and inspirations and for me, what [Porter’s] doing is more of an inspiration than anything that any of us could ever do.’
After becoming determined to turn the negatives of being bullied into a positive, Porter set about raising money for disability charity Scope with a goalkeeping challenge as part of the charity’s Make it Count campaign.
If you’ve been affected by bullying and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am–9pm Monday to Friday and 10am–3pm Saturday and Sunday
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