England mural painted in support of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka defaced in Darlington

Artwork depicting the numbers 17, 25, and 11 was painted as a show of support following the online racist abuse the three players received after they each missed a penalty in the Euro 2020 final; one of the messages sprayed onto the mural read 'we do not stand with the 3 Black Lions'

Darlington England mural
Image: Anti-racism campaigners gathered by the mural in Darlington to stand against the abuse. Photo credit: @SUTR_NE

A mural painted in support of England trio Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka has been defaced in Darlington.

Earlier this week, artwork depicting the numbers 17, 25, and 11 was painted as a show of support following the online racist abuse the three players received after they each missed a penalty in the Euro 2020 final shootout loss to Italy.

However, anti-immigration sentiment was recently written on the wall, which is next to another mural celebrating Arthur Wharton, England's first black professional footballer.

England mural
Image: The defaced mural in Darlington has been cleaned up by anti-racism supporters

One of the messages sprayed onto the mural also read "we do not stand with the 3 Black Lions".

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to condemn the graffiti, which has since been removed by anti-racism supporters.

An event organised by the group Stand Up to Racism also saw campaigners gather by the mural in large numbers to stand against the abuse.

Marcus Rashford mural (PA)
Image: A mural of Marcus Rashford in Withington, Manchester, was defaced after England's Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy

The vandalism follows the defacing of a Rashford mural in Withington, Manchester, the 23-year-old's hometown.

The National Police Chief's Council revealed on Thursday that a dedicated police unit is working through a significant number of reports of racist abuse directed at footballers on social media.

So far five people have been arrested during the investigations.

Police: Rashford mural graffiti 'not racial'

Police say the defacing of the Rashford mural in Manchester is "not believed to be of a racial nature", but investigations continue and forensic specialists are looking at the spray paint used in the attack for further clues.

No arrests have been made and police are appealing for information.

GMP said in a statement: "While the content of the vandalism is not believed to be of a racial nature, officers are keeping an open mind as to the motive behind defacing the artwork."

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Time-lapse footage shows the transformation of the Rashford mural from before it was vandalised, to its repair and redecoration by supporters

Superintendent Richard Timson added: "On Monday morning when we saw the damage done to the mural in Withington we were all left appalled, and we stand with the rest of the community whose solidarity against this vile abuse ever since has really shown the best of our city.

"The person responsible for this knows who they are and we believe there will be others who also suspect the identity of this offender, and I therefore urge anyone with such information to get in touch to help progress our enquiries at speed."

Since the mural was vandalised, hundreds of messages of support have been placed by the artwork, which was also restored by street artist Akse.

Greater Manchester Police launched an investigation after it received a report of racially aggravated damage at the mural at 2.50am on Monday.

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were targeted with racist abuse on social media after England's Euro 2020 final defeat
Image: Jadon Sancho and Rashford were targeted with racist abuse on social media after England's Euro 2020 final defeat

Crowds later gathered for an anti-racism demonstration on Tuesday evening.

Rashford said he was "lost for words" as he thanked people for their messages of support.

Uni withdraws student's offer over racist abuse

A university has withdrawn an offer to a student following racist abuse towards England players after the Euro 2020 final.

Video footage from a Snapchat group chat circulated on Instagram, with one individual heard using racist language towards Rashford, Sancho and Saka.

Bukayo Saka
Image: Bukayo Saka says the negativity he has experienced will not 'break' him

A spokesperson from Nottingham Trent University said: "This allegation does not involve an NTU student. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, including racism.

"We looked into this matter immediately and as a result have withdrawn an offer to an applicant."

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