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'Mannygate' officer charged with Hillsborough crime

Filed: Wednesday, 28th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's former Company Secretary Graham Mackrell has been charged with historical offences relating to the Hillsborough disaster.

Mackrell, who was employed by West Ham during the mid-1990s was one of six individuals informed by the CPS this morning that he will be facing charges relating to the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters in 1989.

The other parties to be charged with various offences are David Duckenfield, the South Yorkshire Police's match commander; Peter Metcalf, a solicitor who acted on behalf of the SYP during the Taylor enquiry; Donald Denton, a former Chief Super of SYP; Alan Foster, a former DCI and Norman Bettison, a former SYP officer.

Qualified accountant Mackrell was Sheffield Wednesday’s company secretary and safety officer at the time of the disaster and was subsequently employed by West Ham.

However he quit his position at the club in 1999 after West Ham were ordered to replay a Worthington Cup quarter final tie they had already won, after it was determined that substitute Manny Omoyinmi had featured for Gillingham in an earlier round during a short-term loan.

Mackrell, who was West Ham's Company Secretary shouldered the blame for the administrative error that had been attributed to secretary Alison O'Dowd, who also resigned in the wake of the furore.

Then-Chairman Terry Brown said: "We feel Graham has made an honourable decision but it seems a high price to pay for what was a small and genuine administration error."

Mackrell added: "I felt in the light of the circumstances regarding the decision to make the club replay that I am the person who is ultimately responsible for administration and it was the honourable thing for me to offer my resignation to the board.

"I'm conscious of the supporters' disappointment at the game having to be replayed and in the light of that, I felt that something along these lines was appropriate. Eventually you have to take some responsibility in life for the actions that go on and the people that work for you.

"Obviously we would not have played the player unless we'd thought he was eligible to play. It has transpired that information was wrong and we are now paying a heavy price for that. It was a little error but unfortunately it has had large consequences for the club."

West Ham - who had already secured passage to the Worthington Cup semi finals - went on to lose the replayed game against Aston Villa.

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