Former Sheffield United man Harry Maguire's call to social media companies as England trio are racially abused after Euros final heartbreak

Harry Maguire, the former Sheffield United defender and Euros hero, says social media companies need to do more to combat racism after three of his England teammates were abused online following their loss in the final last weekend.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 12:00 pm

Maguire, now of Manchester United, was named in UEFA’s official team of the tournament after helping England all the way to the final of Euro 2020, before their heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy.

The Sheffield-born Blades academy graduate smashed home his penalty in the shootout, but Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their spot-kicks as the Italians won 3-2. All three were later racially abused online.

"Something needs to be done,” Maguire said. “The companies need to verify every account. It is too easy to troll and abuse. To be racist is just too easy to be done and get away with.

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"The amount of times we lose a football match with Manchester United and it happens — something needs to be changed.”

Maguire, who has 1.3million followers on Twitter and twice as many on Instagram, is aware that social media does have benefits. But, speaking to The Sun, he added: "There is a negative side but it can be stopped and changed. We need it to change."

Maguire also revealed that his dad, Alan, suffered suspected broken ribs at the final, after chaotic scenes saw thugs storm Wembley without tickets. His agent was also reportedly trampled on by fans.

Sheffield-born former United defender Harry Maguire was one of England's stars of the team's run to the Euro 2020 final (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Sheffield-born former United defender Harry Maguire was one of England's stars of the team's run to the Euro 2020 final (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“It was not a nice experience — it shook him up,” Maguire said.

“But he was fortunate as every game he has been to, he has had my nephew or one of my kids on his shoulders. So I’m thankful that did not happen as it could have been a really serious moment. I am pleased my kids didn’t go to the game.

“Things could have been a lot worse but we have to make sure it does not happen again. It was scary - he said he was scared and I don't want anyone to experience that at a football match. I hope we can learn from this and make sure it doesn't happen again.”