I’m sure I’m surprising no one when I say this, but the Internet can be a pretty toxic place, especially when it comes to sports fandom. But here’s a heartwarming story to make you feel better, and it involves Harry Kane because of course it does.
Tottenham Hotspur fan Neil Markham posted an video of his adorable daughter Ella, who has Down’s syndrome, dancing in the concourse of Tottenham’s new stadium after the 1-0 loss to West Ham. It’s the kind of thing that any parent would do, and it’s so cute that it went viral very quickly, with over 2.2m views as of today.
The result is never the most important thing #COYS pic.twitter.com/ad4fpBjMtA— Neil Markham (@NeilMarkham1) April 27, 2019
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, Ella and Neil were subjected to some pretty disgusting online harassment after the video was posted, many from Spurs fans who were irrationally upset because their football team lost a London derby and took out their frustrations on a happy child who was just enjoying being at the match.
Like I said, the internet can really, really suck.
Enter Harry Kane, who sent a personal video to the Markham family, thanking Ella for her dancing and for the family’s support, and inviting her to be a mascot for Tottenham’s final match of the season against Everton on May 12.
Harry Kane has kindly invited 16-year old Ella Markham to be the mascot at our last game of the season against Everton.— Lilywhite Spurs (@Lilywhite_Spurs) May 1, 2019
Captains material, @HKane! #OneOfOurOwn pic.twitter.com/tSyYHoO2CS
According to the BBC, Ella and her family have accepted the offer and she will walk out with the team before the start of the Everton match. Presumably she won’t be holding Harry’s hand as he’s still recovering from an ankle injury, but if I had to guess I’d bet that the rest of the Spurs changing room will be fighting over who gets to be with Ella as they walk onto the pitch. (Dibs probably goes to Hugo as team captain).
I want to personally thank Ella for being an amazing dancer and Spurs fan, and Harry Kane for helping remind me that there are good and decent people remaining in the world.