Stirling Observer

English team drop disgraced Goodwillie

Controvers­ial footballer’s signing to Radcliffe was met with backlash


Disgraced Stirling footballer David Goodwillie has been binned by English outfit Radcliffe FC after the club admitted to a “significan­t misstep” in signing the former Scotland striker.

Goodwillie had been left without a club following his controvers­ial transfer from Clyde to Raith Rovers last year.

The 33-year-old was deemed a rapist by a civil court in 2017.

Goodwillie then went on to star for amateur side Doune Castle before agreeing a move to Clyde in 2017. The former Blackburn Rovers forward had a five year stay at Broadwood before Championsh­ip side Raith Rovers paid a transfer fee to take him to Starks Park last January.

Rovers fans protested the signing and Goodwillie was then loaned back to Clyde. However, that move was short-lived when the player and clubs faced a backlash.

His deal at Raith Rovers was terminated in September of last year.

Goodwillie scored a hat trick on his Radcliffe debut on Tuesday in a 4-2 win over Belper Town, with Sky Sports reporting he had signed a short-term deal.

However, after the move was met with further backlash, the Greater Manchester outfit released a statement the following morning confirming it had ended the deal with Goodwillie.

In a statement, Radcliffe said: “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 were 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.”

The club added that “it’s clear that as a whole we got this wrong”.

The statement added: “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 apologize to everyone connected with the club and the community – this is a mistake that will never happen again.”

The striker left Raith Rovers without playing a game for the Fifers due to the outrage the signing brought. Famous supporters, including author Val Mcdermid, voiced their concerns over the move and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also weighed in on the debate.

Thistles shopping centre has opened a Winter Warmers Community Hub in partnershi­p with Transition Stirling to give people in the area a helping hand.

The Hub is offering pre-loved but excellent condition outerwear and knitwear to those who cannot afford to purchase new and will operate on a‘pay what you can’basis.

The Hub opened its doors yesterday (Tuesday) and runs until April. It is open from 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

In a bid to support the community during the current cost of living crisis, the initiative forms part of the centre’s ongoing #Thistleshe­lps campaign. Local climate change charity Transition Stirling will manage the hub via their network of volunteer staff and shoppers are invited to take what they need to keep warm in return for a donation the charity if they are able to do so. Those unable to make a donation at this time are simply able to swap their existing coat for a warmer one without fear of judgement.

Thistles centre director Gary Turnbull said: “These are exceptiona­l times and the rising cost of household bills and weekly food shops is putting many families under financial pressure.

“We hope the Winter Warmers Hub will offer some relief to local families who are worried about keeping their loved ones in warm clothes. The Hub has a range of winter essentials for adults and children and we welcome everyone who feels they would benefit from it to come along and take what they need. We would also welcome donations of any pre-loved items to help keep the Hub fully stocked.”

Transition Stirling opportunit­y developer Donna Wood added: “Most of us hate to see good items go to waste and we are thrilled to have the opportunit­y to give good-quality clothing a second-life. We believe that this project will help to prevent waste and protect our environmen­t, but also support our local community to ensure that everyone has access to the items See www. thistlesst­

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