Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson hits out at the trolls who subjected him to "horrendous" abuse

Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson has hit out at social media trolls who made “horrendous” accusations about his private life ahead of last season’s games against Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 1:21 pm

Reflecting upon events leading up to March’s Championship fixture at Elland Road, which saw Chris Wilder’s side take a major step towards achieving automatic promotion, Henderson revealed the abuse he received also took its toll on his family, friends and loved ones.

Insisting those responsible would have been hit with banning orders had they been commenting about the colour of a person’s skin, the former England international told The Star: “Certainly last year at Hillsborough and Elland Road, it wasn’t a pleasant time for me or my family because a lot of the accusations were completely horrendous.

“If it was racism, people would be getting banned from stadiums.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“For me, coming from a good family, it’s the worse thing you can ever be called.

“I’d go back to my apartment and think how has this happened to me? Only my girlfriend knew how much it really affected me.”

Henderson, on loan from Manchester United, admitted the situation had made him even more determined to deal Leeds’ hopes of reaching the top-flight a major blow when the two clubs met in West Yorkshire.

A Chris Basham goal saw Wilder’s side, who went on to finish second behind Norwich City, saw United claim all three points; a result which helped condemn Marcelo Bielsa’s men to the play-offs, where they were eventually beaten by finalists Derby County.

Dean Henderson of Sheffield United during the Press Conference & Training at the Shirecliffe Academy, Sheffield. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Aston Villa, Henderson, who was also targeted by trolls during the build-up to the second Steel City derby last term, said: “We stuck with it, as a family.

“So to go there to Elland Road and beat them, after what they were saying about me, that meant the world to me.”

Henderson, who was recently drafted into the full England squad, added: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

“For me, as a young lad, nobody speaks about having to take that negativity. For a lad of 22, people don’t realise what I went through last season.”