Stormzy and Russell Crowe among celebrities to rally round bullied boy as dad’s plea goes viral

An appeal for birthday messages for a young boy who is being bullied has gone viral – with grime star Stormzy, actor Russell Crowe and comedian Jason Manford among those sending greetings.

Chris Hope-Smith, from Leeds, launched an appeal for messages for his son Ollie, who is nine on July 5.

He wrote: “The bully keeps saying to him that everything he has, he has bigger/better/more often. O excited for his birthday but keeps being told it won’t be as good as his own.

“I would be so grateful and I appreciate it is an odd request. Just would love someone to tell him he does mean something and bullying is not ok, ever.”

Since then, the plea has been retweeted more than 8,000 times with celebrities sending messages in droves.

Presenter Jake Humphrey recorded a video in which he said: “Happy birthday. Have a good one, ignore the haters, stay strong son.”

While Manford recorded a video in which he said: “Just wanted to say happy ninth birthday. Nine years old… I can’t remember what I was doing… probably chasing girls around with a bit of dog poo at the end of a stick. Have a great day son.”

Astronaut Tim Peake said: “Hope your 9th birthday is out of this world Ollie. Just remember – a bully is a person too scared to do the right thing. Aim high dude,” while Rufus Hound said: “Have an amazing birthday. One day, when you’re all old like your Mum and Dad you’ll realise you were winning all along.”

Following the influx of messages, Mr Hope-Smith tweeted: “Guys this has gone crazy and I appreciate all the wonderful messages.

“(I) did not expect the reaction it has received. I for one thank each and everyone of you. I will respond as and when I can, I promise.

“Please just be kind to each other #PASSONTHEPOSITIVE and please be nice.”

Life, FeaturesWeb editor