One of Britain's top estate agents has suspended a worker after a racist message abusing England players appeared on his Twitter account.
Commercial building manager Andrew Bone called the police insisting his account had been hacked before the vile post – which he said he had nothing to do with him – went up.
Following England's heartbreaking Euro 2020 final penalty shootout defeat by Italy the message read: "N****** ruined it for us.''
Mr Bone's bosses at estate agents Savills announced he has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
His Twitter profile – which he said had fallen under someone else's control – vanished after the furore erupted. His stepdad Robert Dutson said: "He didn't post the remark. His account has been hacked.
"He has contacted the police about it. They are looking into it now. He started getting comments saying he was racist. That is not him. He is not a racist."
"The tweet appears to have come from a device not used by this account before.''
A Savills spokesman said the company "confirms that the staff member connected with the racist comments placed on Twitter claims that his account was taken over by a third party and that the matter is being referred to the Greater Manchester Police.
"Savills has acted swiftly and confirms that the individual is suspended from duty pending the findings of this investigation which is being progressed as a priority.
"Savills has a policy of zero tolerance on any form of racial abuse or discrimination.''
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Royalty, politicians and football chiefs united in condemning trolls from around the world who targeted England stars Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after they missed penalties in the shootout.
One user wrote under an Instagram picture of 19-year-old Saka: "Go back to Nigeria.''
While another said: Get out my country.'
Another wrote:Take banana n * .''
One from Italy said: It's coming Rome!!! F****** n*****.' Others posted monkey and banana emojis.
Twitter said it had removed more than 1,000 posts in 24 hours and suspended multiple accounts.
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Dad-of-two Nick Scott, 50, from Worcester, said his Twitter feed was hacked before a message was sent to Rashford reading: "That MBE needs burning ya fake. Pack them bags and get to ya own country.''
I've had to delete my account this morning because I was hacked,'' he said. "I would never tweet anything like that.''
While comedian Andrew Lawrence had several shows cancelled by venues after allegedly tweeting: "Black guys are bad at penalties.''
A mural depicting feed-the-poor hero Rashford in Manchester was defaced after the match.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told race hate trolls who targeted the team: "Shame on you. I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged.''
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He added: "This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes – not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.''
England manager Gareth Southgate – whose team reached the nation's first major football final in 55 years – branded the abuse "unforgivable".
He said experts analysing the source of the messages said a lot of it' had come from abroad'. "But not all of it,'' he added grimly.
"It's just not what we stand for for. We, I think, have been a beacon of light in bringing people together and people being able to relate to the national team.
"The national team stands for everybody. That togetherness is to continue.''
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The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association and was at the match, said the slurs directed at the players were "totally unacceptable".
"I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night's match,'' he said.
"It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.
"It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.''
Many fans – including celebrities – fought back on behalf of the targeted players.
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Line Of Duty star Martin Compston tweeted: "Knives out from some who had them knighted yesterday.
"Southgate and his team carried themselves with class. He led with humility. Rashford & Sterling role models for youngsters football or other wise credit to their country. Those that boo and abuse them are what's wrong with it.''
TV presenter Piers Morgan said: "Our black stars get horrifically racially abused after the game. This is why they take the knee. This is why I support them in taking the knee.''
An FA spokesman said it "strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media
"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.''
The Metropolitan Police said: "This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.''
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