Image: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport
Updated, Monday, 07.29
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND and Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson has deleted his Twitter account after becoming fed up with the volume of abusive messages he was being sent – within just two hours of setting up his account.
Gibson, who has won 16 senior caps for the Republic and is a fringe member of the United squad, set up a @dgibbo28 account (28 being his shirt number at United) shortly after noon today.
But within two hours, the account had disappeared entirely – after the 23-year-old became apparently unwilling to put up with negative comments about his footballing ability.
Among the comments directed at him were…
[Warning: there's some NSFW language in here:]
Other United fans were dismayed at the negative treatment being given to Gibson, however, creating a #getgibboback hashtag trying to urge the Derry-born midfielder to return to the site.
Update 1 (7pm, Sunday): The Times’ Oliver Kay has tweeted to share the news that Gibson apparently deleted the account because he was being driven nuts by the volume of tweets he was receiving by SMS. (Thanks to Paul Conroy in the comments field.)
Update 2 (7:30am, Monday): Gibson’s Man Utd teammate Rio Ferdinand has also tweeted to explain Gibson’s absence – and has given a different account to that of Kay. “Darron Gibson says he came on to see what the lads were up to… he came off because he couldn’t be bothered with it, not [for] any other reason,” he tweeted last night.
Among Gibson’s Manchester United colleagues who are (apparently) more willing to put up with potential criticisms on Twitter include Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Luis Nani, Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Anders Lindegaard.
Rooney, who boasts almost 200,000 followers, only joined the site on Saturday morning.
Gibson has been the centre of some controversy before, when he was the subject of a tug-of-war between the Republic and Northern Ireland over whether he should be allowed to play for the Republic or not.
Should a professional footballer be expected to put up with such comments?