A nine-year-old has written a letter to Arsenal teenager Bukayo Saka telling him he was “so brave to stand up and take the penalty” after he and other England teammates received racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.
Charlie Taylor, from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, decided to write the letter after he found out about people sending hurtful messages to members of the England football team when he watched CBBC’s Newsround at school.
“I just want to say congratulations on getting to the Euro 2020 final, you have played brilliantly,” reads the young Arsenal fan’s letter.
“I am a midfielder and hope I can be as good as you one day. I also hope I can be as brave as you one day. I think you were so brave to stand up and take the penalty.”
Charlie’s mother, Amy Taylor, said Saka is her son’s hero and it made her son so sad that people were being horrible to the Arsenal midfielder.
“Charlie already knew quite a lot about racism and he realised it was directed at Saka, Sancho and Rashford because of the missed penalties,” she told the PA news agency.
“It really upset him that there are such horrible people in the world.
“I have had many conversations in the past with Charlie as like all of us, he doesn’t understand why racism even exists, our discussions have been more towards what he should do if he ever hears racist remarks.”
Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were subjected to racist abuse after they all missed penalties in England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Charlie was one of many young children who sent positive messages to the team following their defeat.
Harry Knox, six, from Newcastle upon Tyne, wrote a letter to Manchester United’s Rashford telling him not to listen to “nasty bullies”.
“Well done for trying hard … I have given you a gold star,” he wrote in the card, which was accompanied by a drawing of Rashford and a golden sticker.
“Don’t listen to nasty bullys. I love you.”