Football fans sickened by the display of an image of Bradley Lowery by a Sheffield Wednesday fan have set up an online appeal in support of the foundation in his memory.

Wednesday supporters launched the Gofundme fundraiser in response to the apparent mocking nature of the use of a picture of the six-year-old Sunderland mascot, who died from neuroblastoma in July 2017.

And the response has been immediate, with more than £1,500 raised by 6pm today (Saturday, September 30)

Sheffield Wednesday FC has condemned the “completely outrageous and utterly deplorable” use of the picture, apparently on the phone of one of its fans, and said it is launching an investigation in unison with South Yorkshire Police The foundation was set up by Bradley’s mother Gemma a month after the death of her son.

Update: Bradley Lowery: Two men arrested after Sheffield Wednesday match

It helps youngsters stricken with childhood cancer and their families from across the country.

Read more: Parents of Bradley Lowery 'very upset' at use of son's image by 'fan'

Following the circulation of the image of the laughing fan displaying Bradley’s picture on his phone, other Wednesday supporters launched the Gofundme appeal.

The page’s description reads: “In light of the recent, sickening images circulating from the football fixture between Sheffield Wednesday FC and Sunderland AFC at Hillsborough, on Friday 29th September 23, Sheffield Wednesday fans would like to raise funds for the Bradley Lowery Foundation to show our support and stand up against this type of behaviour in football."

The Northern Echo: Gofundme appeal launched by Sheffield Wednesday fans in support of The Bradley Lowery Foundation

In response to the funding gesture, the foundation stated: “Thank you so much for your support.

“It’s very upsetting to see the image being shared in this nature, but we know that isn’t the view of the majority.”

Earlier, co-founder of the foundation, Lynn Murphy, its chief operating officer and trustee, said: “Bradley’s family are aware of the image circulating around social media and are understandably very upset.

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“At the age of just six-years-old Bradley brought the football community together with his infectious smile and personality, so to see the image of him being portrayed in this light is extremely upsetting for everyone who knew and loved him.

“We are grateful to Sheffield Wednesday in their quick condemnation of the actions of the people involved.”

She said Wednesday were one of the many clubs the charity has worked with to assist the family of a fan suffering with childhood cancer