Jude Bellingham has revealed he received online racist abuse following final appearance for Birmingham, which is being investigated by police.
The 17-year-old, who has joined Borussia Dortmund for a fee that could exceed £30m, posted a message he received on Twitter, which Blues described as ‘appalling’.
West Midlands Police are looking into the matter and a Birmingham statement read: ‘Birmingham City Football Club abhors all forms of racism. Jude and his family are receiving our full support and we are liaising with West Midlands Police over this matter.’
Bellingham himself wrote simply ‘Disgusting’ in reference to the abuse, part of which read ‘black people only think about money’.
Meanwhile, Birmingham have taken the surprise decision to retire the No 22 shirt worn by Bellingham during his only season in the first team.
The midfielder made his debut aged 16 years and 38 days and went on to make 44 appearances in all competitions in a hugely difficult campaign for the club.
A Blues spokesman said: ‘The 22 shirt has become synonymous with Jude, his rise to the first team aged just 16 years and 38 days and these qualities. And as such the Club have decided it would be fitting to retire this number, to remember one of our own and to inspire others.
Although they avoided relegation from the Championship on the last day of the season, Bellingham could not stop them losing 3-1 at home to Derby. At the end of the game he was seen in tears and was sitting alone on the St Andrew’s pitch as he bade farewell.