Four lads in that viral meme receive outrageous abuse based on their appearance

Four lads pictured posing for a group photo while on a night out in Birmingham are all over the internet again.

The image of the quartet has been doing the rounds since it was taken back in June.

it has seen them become the poster boys of various funny posts on Twitter and Facebook, among others.

But some of the memes have portrayed them as racist or thick, just for the way they look and dress.

That’s a far cry from the real Birmingham and Coventry lads Connor Humpage, Kevin Rooney, and Jamie Phillips, who have been identified as three of the boys.

The fourth did not want to be identified, according to student website The Tab, which spoke to them.

Among the captions, a common theme appears to be that they hold simple, sometimes racist or offensive, views.

One caption on Twitter said: “It’s sad what ‘appened to that black geezer in America but all this rioting and looting is just not on mate.”

Another mocked them for supposedly being against the Black Lives Matters protests in the UK as well.

“It’s stereotyping normal lads for being racist and simple, which couldn’t be any further from the truth,” Mr Humpage told The Tab.

“It’s just stereotyping dumb things said by white lads.”

In fact, Mr Humpage, as a tattoo artist, has been working on a drawing of George Floyd.

Mr Phillips added: “They’re trying to portray us as being stupid individuals. They’re just trying to make us sound thick.

“It’s a lot to do with Love Island, in my opinion. People come across as quite stupid when they’re on there, and we have that kind of look.”

“We laugh because we’ve all got reasonably well-paid jobs.”

The lads revealed the photograph was taken following a night at All Bar One and Slug and Lettuce in Birmingham.

They had drinks at the New Street station bar, before having a photograph together outside.

The image was picked up by a viral Facebook page first, and has gone across the globe.

It has featured almost daily in the popular The Office quotes group, ‘Do You Not Know Who Eric Hitchmough Is?’.

Some of the latest memes to use the photograph include quotes about Shakespeare, Peaky Blinders – and even one video of the four singing a sea shanty.

The lads said that, although the meme first spread in the summer, its re-emergence in recent weeks has been even more popular.

Mr Rooney added: “Every day I was getting tagged in something. It is funny.

“Some of the comments are brutal.

“It doesn’t affect any of us, luckily, but comments like ‘they all need to hang themselves’? It’s not that deep.”