A FREELANCE football reporter says people need to be named, shamed and prosecuted for posting 'vile' abusive comments on social media.

Chris Cooper, who can regularly be seen reporting from football matches for Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday programme, has hit out at trolls who send abusive messages not only to himself, but other colleagues at the channel and figures in public life.

He says more should be done to prosecute those who send such messages directly to public figures.

He remembers getting 250 comments on his social media, many abusive, after he criticised a group of football fans he had confronted on a train after they were being verbally abusive to a female passenger.

Mr Cooper, who lives in Saltaire, says he has received abusive messages himself from trolls about his personal appearance.

He retweeted a video Sky Sports has produced featuring its presenters lifting the lid on the sexist and racist remarks they have received from people on social media.

Mr Cooper says people who work in public life, such as politicians, need to have a thick skin to cope with the abuse, which he says is from a small minority.

He said: "I have not had much recently, but certainly in the past I have had a bit related to the way I look.

"I have got the most horrendous abuse. The language was atrocious. That was the first time I thought 'this was a bit nasty'.

"I block a lot of these people. I don't like bad language on social media. I would not swear at anyone on social media that I did not know.

"Some people I know have had horrendous abuse.

"It is absolutely vile, there is so much of it.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chris Cooper on football reporting duty this seasonChris Cooper on football reporting duty this season

"Some people see it as perfectly acceptable to criticise people on television on radio, public faces. They are seen as public property and that they can say what they like without any sort of a comeback.

"They should be named and shamed.

"You see comments deleted on the Telegraph & Argus website and the others never feature anyone's real name.

They don't have the guts to stand up and say 'I am Joe Bloggs and I think this'. They would not be brave enough

"The phrase 'keyboard warriors' is wrong, they are cowards.

"They would not say these sorts of things to your face. I used to get upset about some of the comments, but now I think 'what's the point?'

"Some of the abuse defies belief. There is an element of jealousy in it.

"Thankfully I have not had the threats some others have had. How can people be so nasty for the colour of someone's skin or their gender?

"It's not just television and radio, it's anybody with a public profile.

"It's time some of the worst people are taken to account and are prosecuted."