I know so many of you will have woken up this morning with a heavy heart thinking about how close England came to lifting the European Cup. 

Penalties provide drama but are they really the best way to decide which team should win? It has been a tremendous few weeks of the 'beautiful game' where all the qualifying home nations did well.  I smiled when I saw the Saltire behind the goal on the TV last night with a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the caption - We'll be back!  You have to admire the Scottish sense of humour.  The Welsh team were great opponents, playing every game with their hearts on display and bringing such joy to a small nation. 

I watched the game with my son who is a passionate football and England fan.  He has fragile x syndrome and his anxiety levels were sky high last night.  He couldn't sit still, he was rocking backwards and forwards and physically shaking - it wasn't nice to see.  And when that last penalty was saved he had a meltdown that was so distressing to witness.  And yet football brings so much joy into his life and the lives of many other people who have a learning disability. 

He loves having a season ticket and going to Pitodrie to watch Aberdeen play.  He is a member of the AFC disabled supporters club.  He loves his trips with his step dad to Molineux to watch Wolves and he finds friendship across the world in the common language of football where having a learning disability is no obstacle to engaging in football banter. 

Tragically the 'beautiful game' turned ugly overnight with appalling racism being shown across social media sites targeted at the Black England players.  Many of our Black colleagues have probably started work this morning wondering if any of the people they passed in the street or sat near on the bus are the same people hurling vile abuse over Twitter after the game. 

Home Truths is a new report that finds (sadly not surprisingly) that Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic people working in charities are subject to racism and antagonism not faced by white colleagues.  Having read the report it contains uncomfortable home truths for many white leaders like me who do not understand how racism manifests itself in their own organisations.  I will do better, and I hope all of you will help me to do so. 

Meantime let's applaud the England team (whichever nationality we are) for showing great teamwork, for looking out for each other and for living the Mencap values - Bravery, Kindness, Positivity, Passion and Inclusive.