Hillsborough campaigner demands public apology from Doncaster football club after manager's 'sick' Facebook post about tragedy

A Hillsborough campaigner has demanded a public apology from an official of a Doncaster football club after he allegedly posted ‘sick’ comments about the 1989 disaster on Facebook.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 6th March 2020, 5:14 pm
Updated Friday, 6th March 2020, 5:14 pm

John Griffiths, assistant manager of Rossington Main Over 35s, is said to have made the comment on a football ‘banter’ Facebook page called Football Away Days.

Screenshots, seen by the Free Press, show Manchester City supporter Mr Griffiths responding to a Liverpool fan called Paul Cook in a chat about the two clubs with the message: ‘How many of your own friends did you kill at Hillsborough, just asking?”

96 Liverpool fans died at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Stadium in 1989 during a fatal crush during an FA Cup semi-final between against Nottingham Forest.

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Rossington Main has issued a statement after a club official made remarks about Hillsborough.

And while Rossington Main, who play in the Northern Counties East League Division One, have confirmed that an ‘individual’ has stepped down from the club, the person was not named in a statement – and Hillsborough campaigners say the move does not go far enough and demand Mr Griffiths apologise publicly.

A statement issued by the club said: “Rossington Main today announce that the individual that caused offence has stepped down from their role with the over 35’s.

“He wholeheartedly regrets his comments that have caused offence to many and wishes to apologise to everyone that it has caused distress to.

“He would also like to go on record for how sorry he is for bringing the club’s name into disrepute and apologises to all that are involved with the club.

“The club would like to now see that the matter is now closed.”

John Griffiths is still listed on the club's website as assistant manager of the over 35s team.

But Lorraine Miller says that Hillsborough campaigners will not let the matter drop – and have threatened to target the club’s sponsors and disrupt forthcoming events organised by the Oxford Street club.

She said: “We are absolutely livid. For someone involved in football to make comments like that is absolutely sick.

“We are reminded of Hillsborough every single day and when someone who should know better goes around saying things like that, it brings it all back.

“The club might think the matter is over, but we can assure them it most certainly is not.”

Supporters want Mr Griffiths to publicly apologise – and have warned that if he doesn’t, they will contact all the club’s sponsors urging them to sever links.

They are also planning to contact former Premier League footballer Dean Windass, calling on him to boycott an event he is attending in support of the club in May.

Added Mrs Miller, whose children’s father was at Hillsborough on the fateful day: “We won’t brush this under the carpet, it won’t go away. We’ll contact every single sponsor of the club and ask them if they want to be associated with someone who makes death knocks about Hillsborough.

“He needs to come out and say it himself in a public apology rather than hiding behind a bland statement from the club.

“People might think its a bit childish, but we will keep the pressure on.”