By Chris Wright
Phil Neville, not to be confused with Phil Neville
Thanks to the internet being largely populated by dimwitted morons, a 60-year-old radiator salesman from Suffolk found himself bombarded with vicious abuse over the weekend from World Cup fans up in arms with his boring commentary during England’s game against Italy.
Phil Neville, aged 60 and from Hadleigh, found his Twitter account (@philneville) was besieged by irate fans, one of whom even wished death upon him – torrents of ridiculous abuse which, of course, were intended for the BBC pundit of the same name.
Mr Neville, a former referee who actually stood in as fourth official during a few Premier League games in the mid 1990s, told BBC Suffolk that his phone had been vibrating constantly since England’s 2-1 defeat and that, while he had been confused for his namesake on Twitter several times in the past, the level of abuse this time around had been shocking.
“Some were very abusive,” he said. “One person said ‘I hope you die’.”
“Working in the sales industry, my name has been a benefit – people do remember me.
“With Twitter there are some real positives, but there are downsides – particularly if you’re famous.
“Some comments were comical and I’ve seen the funny side, but there are some sad people out there.”