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Wembley during the final between Manchester United and Manchester City on June 3. CARL RECINE/AI/Reuters/Panoramic
A 33-year-old Englishman was seen in the stands at Wembley wearing a Manchester United shirt, with flocking mocking the Hillsborough disaster that killed 97 people in 1989.
A London court banned a football fan from the stadium for four years Manchester United who wore a Red Devils shirt with an inscription mocking the Hillsborough disaster in the FA Cup final. The Mancunian club even went further than justice, banning him for life from any activity organized by the club.
He was arrested after the match between Manchester United and Manchester City, at Wembley, on June 3. The jersey bore the number 97, like the number of supporters of Liverpool – historic rival club of Manchester United – who died in crowd movements in 1989, in the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield (north), and flocked “Not Enough» («not enough“).
Stadium ban for four years
Photos of the man and his jersey were immediately posted on social media and reported to the police for him to be found.
To the police, James White, 33, initially explained that it was an allusion to his grandfather who died at 97 and who had not had enough children. In court in Willesden, north-west London, however, he pleaded guilty to wearing “a threatening or insulting inscription, likely to constitute harment or to cause fear or anguish“.
White will not be able to attend any official football match for four years and will have to pay nearly 1,500 pounds (1,750 euros) in fines and court costs. Manchester United have made it known that White will be banned for life from any club-sponsored activities, including matches at Old Trafford, calling his attitude “contemptible“.
Already known to the police
“Mocking Hillsborough or any other footballing tragedy is completely unacceptable and the club will continue to support determined action to eradicate them from sport.“, explained, in a statement sent to several British media, the Red Devils, who themselves are often targeted by insulting allusions to the Munich air disaster in 1958.
The defendant’s defense had ured that he “deeply regretted” his actions and that he admitted to having “deeply hurt people“. But White, already convicted on numerous occasions for acts unrelated to football, sneered when the judgment was delivered, reported the British agency PA.
Last Tuesday it was a Tottenham fan who was banned from the stadium for three years after being mocked by gesture at the Hillsborough disaster during a game at Anfield Road on April 30.