Latest breaking UK - rapist footballer david goodwillie was sacked by radcliffe fc less than 24 hours after signing for them picture pa .. Football club hired rapist as striker because ‘they believe in second chances’ , Now to the details.Rapist footballer David Goodwillie was sacked by Radcliffe FC less than 24 hours after signing for them (Picture: PA)
A rapist footballer has been sacked less than 24 hours after scoring a hat-trick on his debut for the non-league club.
Ex-Scotland international David Goodwillie signed for Radcliffe FC in the Northern Premier League but the club released him just hours after putting pen to paper.
Radcliffe FC – who play in the fourth tier of English football – said it was a ‘significant misstep.’
Goodwillie, 33, was accused of rape in 2011 but never faced a criminal trial due to prosecutors stating there wasn’t enough evidence.
Although no criminal proceedings were brought against Goodwillie and fellow footballer David Robertson, they were ruled to have raped a woman in a flat in West Lothian in 2011 during the first civil case of its kind in Scotland.
Radcliffe FC signed the striker on a short-term deal but failed to announce his signing until he appeared on the team sheet in last night’s 4-2 win over Belper Town.
Now following a backlash from supporters, the club has now announced his departure and apologised for signing the former Scotland international.No criminal charges were filed against Goodwillie, but he was labelled a rapist by a judge in a civil suit in 2011 (Picture: PA)
The club said in a statement : ‘As a club we have always been about second chances and have been a part of many players’ and staff members’ rehabilitation along that journey, we’ve always given people a chance to improve their life and found support in this endeavour.
‘When the club was presented with David Goodwillie that same logic was applied, but in this case it’s clear that was a significant misstep and our due diligence should have been of a much higher standard.
‘We can vouch for all the people at the club involved in this signing did so out of the desire to do a good thing for an individual with an admittedly tainted past as we have done so successfully before but this was a bridge too far.
‘This move came about very quickly, with clearance only granted extremely late leaving us in a position where our media volunteers were unable to release details prior to team sheets being produced – while regrettable this was also unavoidable.
‘From the board down to the management team, who we backed, and have always backed on playing decisions – it’s clear that as a whole we got this wrong. The focus was misplaced and as a growing community club we realise that our impacts are also more widely felt too.
‘We have always strived to be a source of pride to our town with good and honest intentions, and we think we have made a significant positive impact for our town over the last six years both on and off the field and we sincerely apologise to everyone connected with the club and the community – this is a mistake that will never happen again.’
Goodwillie has struggled to restart his career since the court ruling, with the ex-international finding himself drifting between a string of non-league clubs.
The former Dundee United and Blackburn Rovers player recently played one trial game for Livingston United in November in the ninth level of Scottish football, but never played for them again.
ð Your Radcliffe lineup for this eveningâs game against @BelperTownFC.ð We make two changes to the team that took a point against Marine on Saturday. 3ï¸â£ Jack Evans comes into the XI.#WeAreRadcliffe #UTB pic.twitter.com/5PYnqHdNXR— Radcliffe FC (@radcliffeboro) February 7, 2023
After signing for fifth-tier Scottish side Raith Rovers in January 2022, he was released eight months into a two-and-a-half-year contract without ever playing a minute of football for them after his arrival prompted a furious backlash from fans.
His signing prompted a raft of resignations from the club’s board, attracted criticism from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and caused the club’s women’s side to rebrand under a different name.
Club chairman Jon Sims was eventually forced to release a statement apologising for the move.
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