Man, 31, charged with public order offence after Sheffield Wednesday fans ‘seen mocking death of Bradley Lowery’

Football mascot Bradley Lowery captured the nation’s hearts (Anna Gowthorpe/PA) (PA Archive)
Football mascot Bradley Lowery captured the nation’s hearts (Anna Gowthorpe/PA) (PA Archive)

A Sheffield Wednesday supporter has been charged by police after fans appeared to mock the death of Sunderland’s football mascot Bradley Lowery during a game.

The Sunderland fan captured the nation’s heart during his battle with neuroblastoma, but died from the illness aged six in 2017.

He was a mascot for his beloved club and, in the months before his death, led England out at Wembley alongside former Black Cats striker Jermain Defoe.

Sunderland beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 last Friday at Hillsborough and offensive pictures circulated on X, formerly Twitter. They showed two men laughing at the match, with one of them holding up a picture of Bradley.

Dale Houghton, 31, from Rotherham, was arrested on Saturday and has been charged with a public order offence, South Yorkshire Police said. He is due to appear in court on Monday.

Mr Houghton had been remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, said South Yorkshire Police. The police have also applied for a football banning order.

A second man aged 27 was also arrested yesterday and has been released on bail while further enquiries are conducted.

Since the backlash, Sheffield Wednesday fans have raised over nearly £15,000 for the Bradley Lowery foundation.

A spokesperson for the charity shared their gratitude to the fanbase and added: “Turning a negative into a positive, that’s what Brad always did.”

A Sheffield Wednesday fan commented: “I’m ashamed and embarrassed that this happened from ‘supporters’ of our club.

“It’s vile and unimaginable that this occurred Bradley touched the footballing world with his strength and smile Keep up the positive work. We are so sorry that this happened and caused distress.”