Manchester United fan charged after 'wearing shirt mocking Hillsborough disaster to FA Cup final'

4 June 2023, 14:04 | Updated: 4 June 2023, 15:47

The man has been charged after wearing the shirt
The man has been charged after wearing the shirt. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

A Manchester United fan has been charged after allegedly wearing a shirt that made a sick reference to the Hillsborough disaster at the FA Cup final.

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Pictures circulating on social media showed what appeared to be a Manchester United fan wearing a shirt with the number 97 accompanied by the words: "Not enough".

James White, 33, of Warwickshire, was charged on Sunday with displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

There were 97 victims in the 1989 stadium crush at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, Sheffield.

He was bailed to appear at Willesden Magistrates' Court on Monday June 19.

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A man being arrested for wearing a Hillsborough shirt on Saturday
A man being arrested for wearing a Hillsborough shirt on Saturday. Picture: Social media

If he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

Some 22 more people were arrested at the final for offences including assault, affray, possession of drugs and drunk and disorderly behaviour, police said.

Officers are also investigating an item that was thrown onto the pitch after the Manchester United goal in the first half.

No arrests have been made in relation to that incident.

On Sunday, the FA said in a statement: “The FA strongly condemns the actions of the individual who wore a shirt referencing the Hillsborough disaster ahead of the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

"We saw a photograph of the offensive shirt on social media and immediately started working to identify the perpetrator.

"Our security team were able to quickly locate the individual based on the image, and we welcome the swift action which was then taken by the police.

"We will not tolerate abuse relating to Hillsborough or any football tragedy at Wembley Stadium and we will continue to work with the authorities to ensure strong action is taken against perpetrators."

Within 45 minutes, the Met Police tweet had been seen more than one million times.

An inquest jury ruled in 2016 that the Hillsborough victims were unlawfully killed following police errors in controlling the crowd, after a decades-long cover-up.

Manchester City won the FA Cup on Saturday, beating United 2-1 with two goals from captain Ilkay Gundogan.

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