A ‘vile’ internet troll has been blasted for insulting former Blackburn Rovers legend Colin Hendry’s late wife.
The former central defender, who played more than 300 times for the club, was sent a sick message by a supporter of Glasgow Celtic on Twitter.
The message, from an account named Liam McDonald on social networking site Twitter, said: “Remember when Colin Hendry’s wife snuffed it? Great times.”
The former Glasgow Rangers star responded by taking to his Twitter account and posting a picture of the tweet with the message: “This is the vile world we live in.”
MORE TOP STORIES:
Yesterday the tweet, which was sent at 11.33pm on Tuesday, was deleted, and later the account itself also appeared to have been removed.
The Hendry family said they have reported the incident to Scottish police.
Mr Hendry’s wife, Denise, died in 2009, seven years after undergoing a botched liposuction operation.
The 43-year-old underwent 20 operations after the routine treatment and died after picking up an infection following a corrective operation after being on life support for weeks.
Mr Hendry’s daughter Rheagan, launched the charity The Denise Hendry Foundation to help people suffering from clinical negligence in her mum’s memory.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph yesterday on behalf of her dad, she said: “This is what we deal with all the time and it is disgusting.
“This is not just Colin Hendry, it is a mum and a daughter.
“I am sure he would not feel comfortable if someone said that about his parents.
“Dad has been in the football world and up at Rangers and he can deal with this sort of thing but when you start bringing in people’s relatives it is just not on.
“It is just not nice. We just want to move on with our lives and we are always reminded about how insensitive people can be.
“This is a totally random act of stupidity, but it is not the first time something like this has happened.
“People should not take social media lightly.
“He thinks he can write what he wants and Colin Hendry and his daughter and grandchildren won‘t see it but he is wrong.”
Colin Hendry had two spells for Rovers, from 1987 to 1989 and 1991 to 1998.
He was sold to Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers, who have a legendary rivalry with Glasgow Celtic.
Former teammate Kevin Gallacher, who played with Hendry for Rovers and Scotland, said he too had experienced abuse on Twitter.
He said: “When I got involved in Team GB at the Olympics I had abuse on Twitter.
“I had times where every time I wrote something I was getting snide comments.
“Unfortunately with social media people are going to do that because they can hide behind it.
“Comments like that are not nice but you just have to brush it off and ignore it.
“But it gets worse when people’s children are involved.
“People just think they are throwing abuse at Colin and this is the disappointing thing.
“I think these people tend to be loners who are sat in rooms on their own sending these messages.”
Rovers legend Simon Garner said: “It is stupid. That is an awful thing to say and the person should get in trouble for it.
“I think people believe they can get away with things like this but they can’t.
“I have never personally had anything serious on Twitter, just the odd bit of banter that I take with a pinch of salt, but if I did I would certainly report it to the police.”
Former Rovers player and current chairman of the Professional Footballers Association Gordon Taylor said: “I think it is a sad world.
“There seems to be a vindictive side to society where people hide behind these sites and think they can say what they want to people.
“We have advised our younger players to be careful with what they are posting.”
Hyndburn MP and Rovers fan Graham Jones said he was ‘sick and fed up of internet trolls’.
He said: “When you are in the public life you get trolls who think they can just go round abusing who they want to.
“I feel sorry for Colin and all the other victims of what appears to be a growing trend of abuse and bullying on social media.
“It is Colin this time but it could be children and vulnerable people next time.
“I blocked one constituent who thought it was clever to be abusive on Twitter.
“People do not seem to realise you have friends and family and children.”
Darwen councillor Dave Smith, a Blackburn Rovers season ticket-holder, said: “It is absolutely appalling.
“I just hope the police get involved and this clown is punished.