Liverpool defender shares emotional social media update after getting ‘slaughtered’ by Reds fans

Liverpool captain Gilly Flaherty has revealed the impact of social media abuse in an emotional Twitter post.

After the newly-promoted side began the campaign with great promise by beating reigning champions Chelsea on the opening weekend, the Reds’ first season back in the Women’s Super League has faltered.

Following a disappointing Merseyside defeat in front of a club record crowd at Anfield, Liverpool fell to their second successive defeat on Sunday as Niamh Fahey’s first-half own goal handed Tottenham Hotspur the win. The result leaves the Reds ninth in the WSL table, three points clear of the drop zone.

Flaherty has been central to Liverpool manager Matt Beard’s plans to ensure the Reds survive and thrive in the top flight, as the pair reunited this summer after working together at West Ham United.

The 31-year-old is something of a WSL veteran, having made more than 200 appearances in the division across stints with the Hammers, Chelsea and Arsenal, where Flaherty came through the youth system.

But after Sunday’s defeat at Brisbane Road, the centre-back was targetted by Reds supporters on social media, leaving Flaherty feeling hurt.

“Joining a new team is hard in the first place,” tweeted Flaherty, who is a prominent mental health campaigner after attempting suicide as a teenager.

“But to not be approved of by the fans and to just get slaughtered on social media after most games by your own fans is [heartbreaking].

“I’ve never cared about opposition fans doing it, but when it’s your own fans it hits on another level.”

As fans flocked to support Flaherty, her former West Ham team-mate Kate Longhurst was among the first to get behind her.

“They’ll know your worth soon, don’t worry,” Longhurst replied.

“You give 100% every game and put the team before yourself.

“There’s nothing better than proving people wrong and you do that better than anyone.

“Keep your head up skip x.”