Diss Primary pupils send out letters of support to England stars following Euro 2020 exit
Pupils at a Diss primary school have sent letters of support to the England squad after they were targeted with racist abuse following their Euro 2020 exit.
Several players from Gareth Southgate’s squad received a torrent of online abuse after missing their spot kicks as England lost their penalty shootout against Italy in the final of the tournament on Sunday.
In an effort to brighten the players’ spirits, pupils at Diss Primary Academy Partnership, in Fitzwalter Road, sent letters to the squad, expressing their gratitude for reaching the country’s first final in 55 years, telling them that now is the time to “eat sugary food and go on holiday”.
Simon Hipwell, a teacher at the school, which part of St Benet’s Multi-Academy Trust, said the idea to send the letter came from a group discussion on Monday, about how players would be feeling that morning.
Mr Hipwell said: “In Year 2, we have been writing letters to the England team.
“We had a class discussion about how players would be feeling after the shoot out and about the fact that some people have been saying unkind things to them online.
“This led to us writing letters to let them know that we are proud of them.”
One of the letters, written by Elijah, seven, said: “I am writing to tell you how proud I am of you.
“You worked really hard to get to the final. Please don’t be upset by the bad words people have said – you are an amazing team.”
Another letter, written by Faith, also seven, offered some sensible advice on how the players could take their mind off Sunday’s disappointing result.
She said: “I am writing to you because I just want to tell you that I’m so proud that you got us to the final and you sacrificed not seeing your family to play football.
“Pick up the newspaper and see your family for a couple of weeks. Eat sugary food and go on holiday.
“Celebrate that you’re back with your family and stop thinking about football.”