The family of Jay Beatty have spoken out tonight, in an interview with STV, about some of the internet abuse faced by their son.
Last week, in a high profile sit-down, one of his internet tormentors met Jay in person, and has vowed to change his tune.
The individual in question was only 14.
But the abuse is not limited to that one individual; Jay has been targeted by literally “dozens” of trolls, from all over the world.
Some of the most serious communications have been reported to the police in various countries.
Not all of this has been publicised, because some of it is of a nature more severe than anything we’ve seen suffered by anyone involved with our club since Neil Lennon himself.
It’s difficult to wrap your brain around the kind of people who would target someone such as Jay.
It’s incomprehensible that any person, anywhere, could hate this kid, but some clearly do, their minds warped probably by years of wallowing in the muck.
Jay himself is unaware of the comments, and that’s something we all should be grateful for.
“All he thinks about is Celtic,” his dad told me recently.
Long may he be shielded from the worst of these gutter rats.
The weight of such abuse doesn’t fall on Jay, then, but on those around him and they are, of course, deeply distressed by the kind of messages they sometimes get. There are no words for the people who would do such a thing, but one word sums up his family; courageous.
They deal with it every single day. They cope. Somehow.
Martin, speaking on STV tonight, asked the trolls to “stop” but he also sent a heartfelt message of thanks to all of the people around the world who have taken Jay to their hearts and who have sent the family messages of encouragement and support.
That support is the least we can all do.
Jay is a special young man, and they are special people for sharing his story and his life with us, and for all the work they do to raise awareness of Downs Syndrome and those others born with it.
The Celtic Family and the wider world is standing shoulder to shoulder with our young super-fan and those around him.