A mural honouring footballer Marcus Rashford has been vandalised with graffiti following England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
The artwork in Withington, Manchester, was defaced shortly after England lost in a penalty shootout on Sunday.
Rashford, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, missed a penalty in the 3-2 shootout and was targeted on social media after the game.
The prime minister has condemned racist abuse aimed at the players.
Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation after the vandalism was reported to officers at 02:50 BST.
Ch Supt Paul Savill appealed for information and said: “Hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.”
Rashford has previously spoken out about receiving racist abuse on social media following Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat – also on penalties – to Villarreal.
Tweeting at the time, he said he had counted “at least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts”.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham described the mural defacement as a “despicable, shameful act”.
He added: “We could not be more proud of Marcus Rashford and his role in taking our country to its first major final in 55 years.”
The artwork, based on a photograph by Daniel Cheetham and painted by street artist Akse, was created in collaboration with Withington Walls, a community street art project.
It was commissioned in recognition of Rashford’s work to tackle child food poverty.
The player’s mother provided the quote on the mural, which reads: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose.”
Ed Wellard, who co-founded Withington Walls, said he woke up to the news the mural had been defaced.
“I’ve come out to fix what I could immediately and cover up what I couldn’t and hopefully we will get the artist out to come and fix it,” he said.
“We dared to dream yesterday and our hopes were dashed but to wake up to this is more depressing. Racism seems to be more and more prevalent.”
Boris Johnson described the abuse of players as “appalling,” adding the team deserved “to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media”.
“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.
The FA also said it was “appalled” by the targeting of the three players following the defeat at Wembley.
A spokesman said: “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.”