Able2Do Anything: Sports

Phil Neville's wife speaks out about the Trolls targeting her Disabled Daughter

the neville family

BBC football pundit Phil Neville’s partner, Julie has spoken out after her husband’s Twitter account was bombarded by trolls targeting the couple’s disabled daughter.

 Eleven-Year-old Isabella was born with cerebral palsy, but as Julie explains the disabled girl has been the victim of the bullies targeting her husband’s social media account…

"I think the worst things are, Phil has received death threats through Twitter and I've had people threaten to rape me.

"We had one incident where two guys put on Twitter that you can buy T-shirts and the actual writing on the T-shirts was: 'Phil Neville's daughter is a spastic, she's a Cyclops and she has eight toes'."

In an interview with a Manchester paper Julie said: “What kind of a person randomly takes it upon themselves to send vile and abusive messages to someone they don’t even know and what makes them feel that this is acceptable? Usually it’s because they know they can!

“It is beyond belief. The only mercy is that Isabella isn’t old enough to read twitter. Ignorance and abuse like that could damage someone for life. “Isabella is a bright, brave, beautiful little girl and we tell her that she can do anything that she wants to do. What right have these people to abuse her just because her dad is in the public eye? “If she was to read the messages how would she feel? Luckily she is a strong person. I saw an actor from Breaking Bad talking on TV about his disability. He spoke so eloquently about how these bullies and outsiders don’t realise that his disability is his greatest strength.

“People like Isabella overcome such adversity on a daily basis that mean words are the least of their worries. But to a childlike Isabella, and us as her parents they still hurt.”

When she was born Isabelle was given 24 hours to live, even if she defeated the odds doctors warned her parents their daughter would never be able to walk.

Julie remembers the time when she was told the news: ‘When we had Isabella, we were encouraged to touch her and get her out of her incubator - even though she was desperately ill.

‘We felt so helpless, but the doctors told us that by cuddling her we were helping to soothe her. It really made us feel like we were making a difference.”

‘We are so proud of Isabella. She is so pretty, and a confident and outgoing little girl who tackles her disability head-on.’

Isabelle proved the doctors wrong – as you can see from the picture above, she’s a beautiful young girl who is quite literary ‘able to stand on her two left feet’…Surely her achievements is a much more effective way of filling 140 characters on social media?

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