IT would make for a more than decent team were they to ever take to the pitch together.

But Hope United has been formed not to play matches but to try to tackle the growing problem of online hate and social media abuse.

The campaign features male and female players from each of the four home nations including Gareth Bale, Marcus Rashford, Lucy Bronze and Jordan Henderson.

And standing tall front and centre of the squad photograph is Becca Sellar. The award-winning para-athlete from Motherwell has played for Scotland’s amputee football team and works as a tennis coach. Her brave and honest video for the Scottish FA a few years ago about her personal story won her a load of new admirers.

Like the rest of her Hope United team-mates, however, Sellar has been targeted by online trolls over the years, both as an amputee and also as a female working in sport.

It got to a point where she decided it would be easier to close down her social media accounts rather than face up to the barrage of daily abuse from mindless idiots or sleazy fetishists.

A realisation, however, that she could do more good as a role model by being visible and telling her story, the 29 year-old has instead decided to tackle the problem head on by being part of this high-profile BT-led campaign. 

“I’m really proud of it,” she said. “It’s something I feel really passionate about, making social media a place that is accessible for everyone. 

“There are a lot of big names involved in the project so it feels like one of the biggest opportunities that I’ve ever been given. It’s amazing to be a part of it and tell my story and what it’s been like from my perspective. There was a lot of dancing around when I first heard I was going to be involved! 

“It’s really about bringing the topic into the mainstream, having a discussion about it and offering ways to combat social media abuse. 

“And from a personal perspective hopefully it will help people with disabilities realise that they’re not alone if they’ve been suffering and hopefully suggesting solutions about what to do if they’re ever targeted for online abuse.” 

Sellar, unfortunately, can call upon a well of personal experiences when it comes to offering tips on how to safely navigate social media. Even before I started out in para-sport I had a few bad experiences,” she revealed.

“I had people make up graphics and memes about me, and others sexualise me as an amputee. Being fetishised in such a way was awful and something I found really hard to deal with at that time. 

“I think I found 22 fake accounts that had basically gone on to Instagram and lifted all my pictures. It left me feeling violated that someone would do that. My account was open but I never gave my permission for my pictures to be used in such a manner. 

“The internet at times is quite a toxic place. It used to really wear me down but now I realise you can’t let it get to you. 

“So even before I got into sport I was already aware that it was very difficult to be an amputee on social media. It’s not the same as being an able-bodied person, it’s a different game altogether. 

“For a while I closed down all my accounts and removed any online images and anything else that gave away who I was. 

“But when I joined Partick Thistle I realised that if I wanted to start talking about para-sport I couldn’t keep going that way. Something had to change. And that’s when I realised I wanted to fight against it and had to start to build up a resilience.  

“If I wanted to share my experiences and talk about it more I was going to have to open myself up to more abuse. It increased exponentially so I had to become more resilient to cope with that. 

“Hopefully a campaign like this one can help make it clear to people that that’s not okay. We want them to think about their actions, personally and morally.” 

The recent social media boycott by a number of sports stars, clubs and other organisations brought the issue of online abuse to light. 

Sellar reckons trying to make social media platforms take additional responsibility for clamping down on trolls by making users register is a non-starter. Instead she wants individuals to think more about their own actions.

“I understand why people are suggesting that but it’s quite complicated. And a lot of people would be against it on data gathering grounds and privacy issues.

“That’s why this campaign is better as we’re appealing to individuals to try to understand what they’re doing. You’ll never convince everyone to change their behaviour but hopefully it could start something.”

BT’s Hope United will rally the UK to tackle online abuse as part BT’s commitment to digitally upskill the nation. To find out more about how you can play your part, watch BT's Tech Tips at Together we can beat online hate.