Sheffield Wednesday Fan Escapes Jail for Mocking Bradley Lowery’s Memory

Sheffield Wednesday Fan Escapes Jail for Mocking Bradley Lowery’s Memory

Dale Houghton, a Sheffield Wednesday fan, has been given a 12-week suspended prison sentence for his disrespectful act towards young mascot Bradley Lowery’s memory.

Despite the legal consequences, Houghton chose not to apologize to Bradley’s family when questioned outside Sheffield Magistrates Court.

Refusal to Apologize:

During the court proceedings, Houghton shook his head when asked if he had anything to say to Bradley’s family.

The incident involved him mocking Bradley, a six-year-old who passed away from neuroblastoma in 2017, by holding up an image of the child during a football match to taunt Sunderland fans.

Consequences and Public Outcry:

Following the sickening stunt, Houghton faced widespread fury, resulting in him losing his job as a window fitter and being expelled from local sports teams.

The court heard that Bradley Lowery, who had captured the nation’s hearts, was best friends with footballer Jermain Defoe.

Legal Judgment:

District Judge Marcus Waite condemned Houghton’s actions, stating that he displayed callous disrespect to a brave young man, rightfully esteemed by football fans.

Houghton, a Sheffield Wednesday supporter, was pictured grinning while waving Bradley’s image during a match at Hillsborough.

The court sentenced him to a 12-week jail term, suspended for 18 months, and imposed a five-year football banning order.

Penalties and Rehabilitation:

In addition to the suspended sentence, Houghton must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, attend 20 rehabilitation days, and adhere to the football banning order.

He has voluntarily sought help with his drinking through the Rotherham Alcohol and Drug Service.

Apology and Remorse:

While Houghton expressed deep remorse in court and conveyed being “extremely sorry” for his actions, he previously described the incident as “enjoyable banter” gone too far.

The court was told that he had engaged in banter with Sunderland fans, starting with sharing pictures of the Newcastle United badge.

Impact on Bradley’s Family:

Bradley’s mother, Gemma, conveyed deep upset over the incident, stating that Houghton’s actions weren’t just disrespectful to Bradley but also caused emotional turmoil for other ill children.

Sheffield Wednesday’s chief operating officer labeled Houghton’s behavior as “outrageous and utterly deplorable.”

Judge’s Verdict:

District Judge Marcus Waite described Houghton’s actions as “utterly appalling” and emphasized the trauma caused to an already grieving family.

He criticized Houghton for risking a more serious response with his disgraceful behavior and ordered him to pay £239 in costs and surcharge.


The legal proceedings against Dale Houghton conclude with a suspended prison sentence, highlighting the gravity of his disrespectful actions towards Bradley Lowery’s memory.

Despite legal consequences, Houghton’s refusal to apologize continues to be a point of contention.

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