David Goodwillie released by Radcliffe after scoring debut hat-trick as club admits 'significant misstep'

David Goodwillie
Radcliffe FC have released David Goodwillie after he made his debut for the club and scored a hat-trick, admitting to "a significant misstep".

Seventh-tier outfit Radcliffe FC confirmed the news of Goodwillie's release hours after he was named in their starting lineup without confirmation of his signing and scored a hat-trick for the club on his debut.

Goodwillie was ruled a rapist in a 2017 civil case and ordered to pay £100,000 as a result, despite not facing a criminal trial.

He was never officially announced to Radcliffe fans as a new signing, merely being named in the starting XI for a game against Belper Town on Tuesday evening, which they went on to win 4-2.

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An official statement released by the Greater Manchester-based side on February 8 confirmed the 33-year-old's release, and reads: "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."

The club also stated that the move "came about very quickly" which resulted in the media team being unable to announce Goodwillie prior to the teamsheet being released - a scenario they then described as "regrettable" but "also unavoidable".

Scottish Championship side Raith Rovers received a backlash for signing Goodwillie in January 2022, with two club directors, several staff members, the women's team captain and most club volunteers resigning as a result of the decision. The women's team also cut its ties with the club.

Goodwillie was sent back on loan to former club Clyde, before being released that September.