By Frank McAvennie

12th Feb, 2021 | 9:00pm

McAvennie stunned by 'horrible' comments aimed at Newcastle boss Bruce

Frank McAvennie insists that abuse aimed at Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce on social media is unwarranted and needs to be stamped out. 

The former West Ham forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed that social media companies need to do more to identify users who are sending racist and abusive messages to footballers.

Online abuse has become a pressing issue in football over the last few weeks with Magpies boss Bruce the latest to admit that they have been the target of unsavoury comments on social media.

On Thursday, a letter signed by many English football organisations including the Premier League and the FA asked Facebook and Twitter to help bring online abuse to an end.

McAvennie has condemned the abuse aimed at Bruce and joined the call for social media companies to do more to stamp out the rising cases of abuse.

“It’s so wrong and they’ve got to stamp it out because in today’s world, that’s what is happening,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“It seems to be the norm now and it’s so horrible. They’ve got to get people to add a name and an address to their Twitter accounts. 

“That would stop the trolls overnight. It would stop them completely. 

“I don’t mind people having a different opinion to me, people have always got different opinions. 

“But some of the abuse these boys are getting and to abuse people because of the colour of their skin, I don’t get it. 

“Steve Bruce because he’s a manager, it’s a job he’s got, he’s got a family. He doesn’t have to be getting abuse. 

“It’ll be idiots who know nothing who are doing it to him on social media.”

There has been no reply to the letter sent on Thursday as those in the footballing world wait to see what measures Facebook and Twitter will take to quickly put an end to these abusive messages.

Newcastle United travel to Chelsea on Monday night with Bruce looking to focus on picking up a positive result at Stamford Bridge.

In other news, fractious relations between Watford and Newcastle caused a transfer between the two clubs to collapse at the eleventh hour.