Billy Sharp, pictured in 2011 at home in Southampton with his girlfriend, Jade, was trolled by a Derby County fan after he scored two goals for Sheffield United on Saturday
Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp has been subjected to vile abuse on Twitter over the death of his infant child.
Sharp’s son, Luey Jacob, died just two days after being born in late October 2011 from gastroschisis, which affects around 1 in 3,000 babies in the UK.
But a troll posted a repulsive message on the official Derby County Twitter after Sharp scored the first out of two goals for United during a 3-1 victory on Saturday.
The Twitter user, called Jordan Byrne, who is believed to be a Rams fan, wrote ‘dead son’.
He then followed it up with ‘Billy Sharp’s son is dead’ after being confronted by another Twitter user.
Sharp, 31, responded to his tormentor by tweeting: ‘Don’t s*** yourself now you have made the comments’.
Byrne then made his account private and removed his profile picture, before deleting his account completely.
Derby County has since apologised to Sharp and vowed to show ‘zero tolerance’ in identifying and punishing the fan.
Paul Tyrell, director of communications, said: ‘This is utterly repulsive behaviour which we condemn unreservedly and apologise on behalf of the club to Billy and his family for any distress caused.
The Twitter user, called Jordan Byrne, who is believed to be a Rams fan, wrote ‘dead son’ followed by ‘Billy Sharp’s son is dead’
Byrne then made his account private and removed his profile picture, before deleting his account completely
‘We will contact Twitter to ask them to identity the culprit and seek police advice as to what punishment we can meter out to this individual.
‘We appeal to our own supporters to help us in this matter.
‘If the perpetrator can be formally identified, he can expect zero tolerance and the maximum punishment from Derby County for this grossly offensive behaviour.’
MailOnline contacted Derby County this morning, which said they were still working to identify the troll, who would be given the ‘maximum punishment’.
The tweets were also condemned by football fans from across the country.
Ben Smyth wrote: ‘This Jordan Byrne lad deserves a good kicking. Sure many would volunteer.’
Tiernan Rhodes added: ‘His name is Jordan Byrne. Deleted his account now. Disowned by derby fans who apologised cos hes 2 p***y.’
Derby County Talk wrote: ‘Give him a lifetime ban, @dcfcofficial. We don’t want our club to be associated with scum like him. Apologies @billysharp10.’
Derby County has since apologised to Sharp and vowed to show ‘zero tolerance’ in identifying and punishing the fan
Other Derby fans attacked the troll, calling him ‘scum’ and asking the football club to take action
Daniel Warren said: ‘That Jordan Byrne is going to get a good pasting for that tweet alone I only live round the corner.’
Luey was born on Thursday 27 October with gastroschisis – a birth defect that causes a rupture of the abdominal wall, which exposes the intestines.
Sharp was playing for Doncaster Rovers, his club at the time, against Middlesbrough in the Championship less than 72 hours after the death of his baby son.
He scored a stunning goal against Middlesbrough and memorably unveiled a message under his shirt, reading: ‘That’s for you, son’.
The tweets were also condemned by football fans from across the country. Pictured: Sharp playing for Sheffield United against Derby County in 2008
Sharp and wife Jade Sharp set up the LJS Foundation in their son’s memory, to support and fund research for gastroschisis.
Sharp and wife Jade Sharp set up the LJS Foundation in his memory, to support and fund research for gastroschisis
Shockingly, it’s not the first time Sharp has been subjected to vile abuse following the death of his son.
A Barnsley fan chanted a song mocking Luey’s death in January 2012 and a Twitter troll spouted similar bile after Sharp had completed his £1.8m transfer to Southampton.