Rhys Porter: Fulham fan with cerebral palsy and epilepsy abused online now raising money for disability charity
Rhys Porter was sent vile abuse on TikTok after posting a video of him saving a penalty while playing for disability sports club Feltham Bees; "It made me feel quite sad, but I try and get over it and I try and make the positives come out of the situation"
By Emma Paton
Last Updated: 07/09/21 6:12am
Thirteen-year-old Fulham fan Rhys Porter is using his experience of being targeted with discrimination on social media to help raise money for a disability charity.
Rhys has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and plays for Feltham Bees football club - a disability sports club associated with Brentford.
He posted a video on the social media platform TikTok of him saving a goal which received hundreds of vile messages and comments of abuse.
Instead of letting it get to him, Rhys has decided to raise money for disability charity Scope by taking part in a goalkeeping challenge as part of their Make it Count campaign.
The initiative is running throughout the Paralympics, which finished on Sunday, and Rhys is challenging his whole family - from his Nan to his baby cousins - to join him in 20 minutes of physical activity every day.
He told Sky Sports News: "I made an account [on TikTok], it was called 'Rhys the Wall', I was going to post TikToks of me in goal and I posted about four or five and I posted a video of me where I made a save, and then it went viral and it had loads of horrible comments.
"It made me feel quite sad, but I try and get over it and I try and make the positives come out of the situation.
"I joined a disability charity and I'm doing 20 saves a day in line with the Paralympics and I'm trying to raise some awareness for disabled people.
"You can find the positives out of a situation if you look hard enough."
Rhys wants to raise awareness for disabled children to show they can do anything and also against online abuse, to prove that hate will never win. He has already raised over £5,000.
His mother Kelly Porter added: "There were a lot of hate comments, a lot of really nasty comments, people being opinionated saying things like: 'you can't play football you're disabled'.
"It was shattering to read, but at the same time, we know that life and reality can be quite harsh.
"We didn't feel the need to hide it from him but just to address it with him and try and move forward.
"Make It Count is about racking up as many saves as you want, it's about inclusivity and everybody being able to take part.
"We've got a Whatsapp group and Rhys is ordering everyone around getting them to send videos of their activities."
Hate won't win
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