Sheffield Wednesday have today banned a fan from Hillsborough afer he posted “disgraceful comments” about Sheffield United skipper Billy Sharp’s late son on Twitter.
Fans on both sides of the Steel City divide united to condemn vile tweets from the account of Owls fan Ben Ainsworth, with two messages about Sharp’s son Luey Jacob who passed away at just two days old in 2011.
The shocking messages, the contents of which The Star will not repeat, were posted on Ainsworth’s Twitter account on October 27, after Sharp had scored a hat-trick for Sheffield United against Wigan – on what would have been Luey’s seventh birthday.
Another Twitter account, apparently opened by Ainsworth after losing access to his original one, later sent a tweet saying: “Sorry to Billy Sharp and everyone who took offence to my tweets yesterday.”
A message from the account that originally tweeted the abuse later read: “I’m sorry to Billy and his family, I don’t know what I was thinking. “Can’t even remember doing it, I fully take responsibility and hope everything gets resolved.”
And today, a Wednesday spokesman told The Star: “While we welcome constructive debate and sensible feedback on social media platforms, posts that cross the line in terms of moral decency or indeed the law will not be tolerated.
“We roundly condemn the disgraceful comments of the individual concerned in this particular instance and furthermore can categorically state he is no longer welcome at Hillsborough.”
The tweets from Ainsworth’s account are the latest example of Sharp and his wife Jade being attacked by trolls over Luey’s tragic death seven years ago.
Last year, a Derby County fan was banned from Pride Park for life after a similar offence and the Rams apologised to Sharp.
In August, Jade bravely opened up to The Star in an emotional interview about Luey’s death and how that period of her life is “a black hole”.
"Luey lasted longer than we thought, by about a day or so,” she said.
“That doesn't sound a long time but when you're in that situation, living minute by minute, it feels like an eternity. He had a heart monitor on overnight so if he died in the night, an alarm would wake us up.”
“I can never open that door, I can't ever go back there,” she added.
“I wonder if it'll come out when I'm older; if the gates will open a little. I had counselling, which was pretty raw, but still I couldn't get deep. My body has shut it down. It's gone."
Sharp poignantly played for Doncaster Rovers just days after Luey passed away. He scored a stunning goal against Middlesbrough and memorably unveiled a message under his shirt, reading: 'That's for you, son'.
A week ago, United issued a supporter with a home and away ban after a ‘victiolic’ social media post, believed to concern the death of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people in a helicopter crash.