Man charged with public order offence for displaying photo of six-year-old cancer victim at match

Two men were arrested with one being charged with a public order offence after showing an image of a six-year-old fan who died of cancer to rival fans at a football match.

Dale Houghton, from Rotherham, will appear before Sheffield Magistrates' Court on Monday morning in connection to the incident, which took place at a match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland on Friday.

He, and another 27-year-old man, were pictured at Hillsborough stadium holding up a picture of Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery, who passed away from a rare form of children's cancer in 2017, and laughing.

Houghton, from Rotherham, has been charged with a Section 4a Public Order offence but the police have also applied for a football banning order.

<strong><em>Sunderland super fan Bradley Lowery with striker Jermaine Defoe / Credit: PA</em></strong>

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

Since the incident, over £11,000 have been raised for The Bradley Lowery Foundation by the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Women's Supporters' Group, who set up a GoFundMe page on Saturday.

The charity provides funding for a holiday home in Scarborough, which will be able to support bereaved families and children who are going through hospital treatment.

In a post on Facebook, the Bradley Lowery Foundation, set up by the boy's mother Gemma, said: "This is so sad for me to see - whatever happened to 'cancer has no colours', let alone respect for a family that lost their baby to cancer?"

The foundation released a statement that said it was "overwhelmed" by the support and wanted to thank everyone who has contacted the charity.

Finally a pair of football boots signed by Sunderland defender, Daniel Ballard, are also being auctioned off on the foundation's website.

Sheffield Wednesday also released a statement shortly after the incident apologising to Bradley's friends and family.

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