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.
James White, 33, from Warwickshire, has pleaded guilty to displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress after turning up to the FA Cup Final in a shirt saying "Not Enough 97" pic.twitter.com/tQnLy5aOIy
— Chris Chambers (@CapitalChambo) June 19, 2023
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.
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.”