THE FAMILY of a Rotherham United fan mocked by rival supporters have thanked fellow Millers for their support – and expressed their gratitude to a fan who brought the incident to light.
As reported in last week’s Advertiser, two supporters in the away end of the New York Stadium at the derby game against Doncaster Rovers on August 28 were filmed laughing and rocking in apparent imitation of a home fan who was "stimming" - repetitive moments associated with autism.
Millers fan Sarah Feher shared a clip of the abuse on Twitter and the two men involved were identified by Rovers officials. Police are investigating the possible hate crime.
Now United have published an open letter (below) from the home fan’s family about the “deplorable acts” and their condemnation by fans of both Doncaster and Rotherham, in which they say “We never knew that there was so much love and understanding out there and we would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who has shown their support.”
A spokesperson said: “The family – who wish to remain anonymous – were incredibly grateful for the response from both clubs, their supporters and South Yorkshire Police and have asked us to share the following letter.
“Rotherham United would also like to thank our colleagues at Doncaster Rovers and South Yorkshire Police who have helped us to identify the individuals in question.
“Football is everyone’s game and there is no place for discrimination of any kind here at AESSEAL New York Stadium, or indeed, anywhere in the world."
The family’s letter reads as follows: “We would like to thank South Yorkshire Police, Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers and both sets of fans for their overwhelming support and kindness following the sad incident which occurred during the local derby.
“We would like to give a special mention to Sarah Feher, whose quick thinking has brought the unacceptable behaviour of those individuals in question to light.
“We never knew that there was so much love and understanding out there and we would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who has shown their support.