Man charged for wearing offensive Hillsborough T-shirt at FA Cup final

The offensive T-shirt that saw the supporter arrested at the FA Cup final - UkNewsinPictures
The offensive T-shirt that saw the supporter arrested at the FA Cup final - UkNewsinPictures

A man has been charged with displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause distress after he was arrested at the FA Cup final for wearing a jersey appearing to mock the Hillsborough disaster.

James White, 33, of Warwickshire, has been ordered to appear before magistrates in Willesden later this month after he was identified as the individual wearing a Manchester United shirt that had the number 97 on the back and the words “Not Enough”.

Manchester City beat their rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

A Metropolitan Police statement read: “A man has been charged after being arrested during the FA Cup final at Wembley.

“James White, 33, of Warwickshire was charged on Sunday June 4 with displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

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

“He was arrested after being seen wearing a shirt which appeared to refer in offensive terms to those who died in the Hillsborough tragedy.”

The Football Association [FA] also condemned the alleged actions of Mr White.

On Sunday, a statement read: “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.”

The shirt was initially flagged on social media by the Met on Saturday in an attempt to identify the individual.

Sharing a tweet posted by an account called Liverpool Photos, the Met’s events Twitter account said: “We are aware of this and have worked proactively with officials at Wembley Stadium to identify the individual.

“He has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody.”

Ninety-seven football fans died as a result of a crush at a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.

They were unlawfully killed amid a number of police errors, an inquest jury ruled in 2016.

It is not the first time that fans have been accused of using the tragedy to cause gross offence. Before Liverpool and Manchester United played at Anfield in March, managers Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag joined forces to call on fans to stop “tragedy chanting” and offensive songs about the Munich, Heysel and Hillsborough disasters.

Ten Hag said in a message to Manchester United supporters: “‘It is unacceptable to use the loss of life — in relation to any tragedy — to score points, and it is time for it to stop. Those responsible tarnish not only the reputation of our clubs but also, importantly, the reputation of themselves, the fans, and our great cities.”

In January this year police chiefs said action was needed to tackle “disgusting” Hillsborough chants at football matches.