David Goodwillie: Rapist footballer says he is an

Former Scotland striker David Goodwillie has said “I am an innocent man” in his first interview since a civil court ruled he had raped a woman in 2011.

The footballer has never faced any criminal charges and said he wanted to “finally speak my truth” after the court decision in 2017.

At a civil case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh that year, Goodwillie and his former Dundee United teammate, David Robertson, were judged to have raped a woman.

The two men were ordered to pay £100,000 damages to her, but no criminal charges were brought against either of them.

Goodwillie has been hit by repeated backlashes when trying to return to football, with Australian second-tier side FC Sorrento the latest to cancel his contract.

Speaking on the podcast Anything Goes with James English, Goodwillie said he wants to move on with his life.

He said: “I’m an innocent man. I still say to this day, I’m walking about free, I’m not on the sex offenders’ register, I’ve not got any charges for this, I don’t even have a criminal record any more.”

The former Dundee United, Blackburn, Aberdeen and Plymouth player added: “I’ve cleaned up my act and I’ve tried to be a better person.”

Goodwillie said that he could not fully remember the night of the incident as he was drunk, but said: “This case wasn’t violent, this was three people drunk, having consensual sex, what was happening in front of me was normal, she was talking, laughing, joking, joining in.

“So for her to say she can’t remember that, it’s hard for me to live with because I’m thinking if I could only show you the way you were acting, we had no idea that you were going to wake up in the morning and not remember this.”

Read more:

Raith Rovers apologise for signing striker

Rape Crisis Scotland ‘disappointed’ as Glasgow United FC says rapist footballer ‘deserves a chance’

Goodwillie was playing for English club Plymouth at the time of the civil court judgment and left “by mutual consent” just days after the ruling.

Two months later, in March 2017, he signed for Clyde despite fierce criticism of the club’s decision to give him a deal.

He played for the Cumbernauld-based club for almost five years, becoming club captain, before Raith Rovers moved to sign him in February last year.

Following widespread opposition to the move, including from crime writer Val McDermid, a fan of the club, Goodwillie was released from his contract without playing a match.

A year later, there was a similar situation when Northern Premier League side Radcliffe responded to criticism by cancelling Goodwillie’s contract a day after he scored a hat-trick on his debut against Belper Town.

And Australian second-tier side FC Sorrento also followed suit, announcing last month they had cancelled his contract after the news of Goodwillie’s impending arrival was met with a social media backlash.

In the podcast, Goodwillie, who is married with two children, said he has suicidal thoughts quite regularly and is speaking to a counsellor.

Asked how he is feeling now, he said: “Positive, I’m thinking this is the chance for me to say what I want to say.”

The footballer reportedly played for Glasgow United FC last Wednesday in a friendly match.

The club told BBC Scotland that he “deserves a chance”, adding: “All he wants is to be left in peace and be allowed to play the game he loves.”

Rape Crisis Scotland support

  • If you need to talk to someone, the charity’s helpline is open from 5pm until midnight every evening on 08088 01 03 02
  • Webchat, email and text support is also available via rapecrisisscotland.org.uk

In response, Rape Crisis Scotland told Sky News it was “deeply disappointed” that the club decided to field Goodwillie, adding: “This was a bad decision that sends entirely the wrong message.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

You might also like...

P