David Goodwillie: Glasgow United

Glasgow United FC has vowed to stand by rapist footballer David Goodwillie and has said “this witch hunt has gone on for far too long”.

It comes after Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken threatened to bar the club from its training facility after the ex-Scotland international was spotted playing for the Shettleston-based team during a friendly match earlier this month.

Glasgow United FC, which is yet to confirm the signing of Goodwillie, said: “David Goodwillie has never been charged for this offence.

“He has no criminal record and has never appeared on any offenders’ register.

“How can he show contrite or remorse for something he staunchly claims he did not do.”

Goodwillie, 34, and fellow footballer David Robertson were ruled to be rapists in a 2017 civil case.

The pair, who have never faced a criminal trial over the allegations, were ordered to pay £100,000 in damages after a judge ruled they raped a woman at a property in West Lothian following a night out in January 2011.

Goodwillie has seen several football club contracts collapse due to public outrage over the case.

In light of his recent performance for Glasgow United FC, the city council released a statement from leader Ms Aitken on Sunday which said: “David Goodwillie has been found, in court, to be a rapist. However, in more than 12 years, he has never once shown any kind of contrition or remorse.

“Any club that signs him is making a very clear statement about its attitude to the safety of women and girls – both in sport and in its community.

“It would be an outrageous decision, wholly at odds with how community facilities like Greenfield should be run.

“I’ve asked officers to look at the council’s agreement with Glasgow United and made it clear that I’m ready for the city to walk away.”

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Glasgow United FC, which plays in the West of Scotland Third Division, does not run or manage Greenfield Football Centre and instead pays to use the council facilities for training purposes only.

‘This witch hunt has gone on for far too long’

The club spokesperson added: “We play home matches at our own ground nearby like we have for the last 120 years.

“We do a lot of work in our community helping those in need and this is only an extension of that work.

“We could easily walk away from this like every other club before us but we won’t.

“We are supporting David with his mental health and will continue to do so.

“This witch hunt has gone on for far too long and the use of any person’s life as a political football is unacceptable.”

Read more:

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Rape Crisis Scotland ‘disappointed’ as club says rapist footballer ‘deserves a chance’

Goodwillie, who has played for Dundee United, Aberdeen and Blackburn Rovers, was playing for English club Plymouth at the time of the civil court judgement and left “by mutual consent” just days after the ruling.

Two months later, in March 2017, he signed for Clyde and played for the club for five years, even becoming team captain, before Raith moved to sign him in February last year.

Following widespread opposition to the move, Goodwillie was released from his contract without playing a match.

He subsequently has seen deals with Northern Premier League side Radcliffe and Australian second-tier side FC Sorrento collapse following public outcry.

Speaking on James English’s Anything Goes podcast last week, Goodwillie said he was “an innocent man” and continued to claim it was consensual sex.

He 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.”

Rape Crisis Scotland previously said it was “deeply disappointed” Glasgow United FC fielded Goodwillie in the friendly match.

A spokesperson from the charity branded it a “bad decision that sends entirely the wrong message”.

They added: “Footballers are role models – particularly for young people – and it’s not okay to have someone in this position who has been found by a senior judge to be a rapist.”

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

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