Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has revealed he’s been subjected to vile death threats from fans who want him out of the club.
The Magpies have struggled for consistency this season, with just seven wins out of 23 in the Premier League leaving them hovering just above the relegation zone.
Bruce has therefore found himself under huge pressure at St James’ Park of late, but a minority of supporters have crossed the line by targeting him with sick abuse online.
His revelation comes just days after Premier League referee Mike Dean stood himself down from this weekend’s round of fixtures after receiving death threats over his decision to send off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek last Saturday.
Bruce said: “In conversations I have had with my family in the past few days ie we were talking about Mike Dean, it was brought to my attention that I have had it too. Horrible stuff.
“Which I couldn't really get my breath. I hope I die of COVID and stuff like this.
“We need to stop it. There are vulnerable people out there. It is absolutely vile. We have to stop it.
“I don't go on social media. People close to me do. They are sensitive towards their father. Death threats? Yes. Yes. I have had that to deal with.
“When I see the nature of it it is totally and utterly vile. Some of the stuff I have had is obscene and it fuels hatred. Something has to be done. Like or loathe refs, or Mike Dean, no one deserves that.
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“Social media I know is a powerful weapon. For me these companies have to police it better. For me, the abuse I have had, death threats, all this stuff.
“When I see a ref wanting to come away from it because he has made a mistake…. People threatening his life. It is obscene and ridiculous. They need to clamp down on it and police it better.”
When asked if he ever thought of quitting the game because of abuse or if his family urged him to do so, Bruce said: “No, they have not said that. They back me in what I want to do. Unfortunately this has crept in. We have to act.
“This could also be happening to young people, a young girl, bullying or whatever.”
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