Man United fan banned for 4 years for wearing shirt mocking Hillsborough

Man United supporter James White has pleaded guilty to wearing a vile shirt mocking the Hillsborough tragedy at the FA Cup final this month.

The 33-year-old attended Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning after being arrested during the final between Man United and Man City.

A photo of White’s shirt, with the number 97 and the words ‘not enough’ printed on the back, circulated on social media before he was detained by police officers.

White pleaded guilty to displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, and according to Sky News, was seen “chuckling” as he was sentenced.

He has been banned from attending all regulated football games for four years, as well as being fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £485 in court costs.

According to the Evening Standard, the court heard of White’s claims to officers over the intention behind his shirt when arrested.

“You haven’t even asked me what the T-shirt means,” he told officers.

“My grandad died aged 97 and didn’t have enough kids.”

White was explained to have had “many” previous convictions, though none of those previous were football-related, but his defence told the court he “deeply regrets” his actions at Wembley.

District judge Mark Jabbitt described the shirt as bearing an “abhorrent message,” with the impact of his message “profound and distressing.”

“It is hard to imagine a more…offensive reference to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster,” Jabbitt said on Monday.

The verdict comes less than a week after Tottenham supporter Kieron Darlow, 25, received a ban of three years after mocking Hillsborough through offensive gestures at Anfield in April.

UPDATE: Manchester United have issued their own indefinite club ban to James White.

In a statement, Man United said: “The club’s ban goes further with the immediately imposed three-year suspension being extended to an indefinite ban from all club activities including all matches at Old Trafford.

“Mockery of Hillsborough and other football tragedies is completely unacceptable and the club will continue to support firm action to eradicate it from the game.”