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Former secretary guilty of Hillsborough charges


Filed: Wednesday, 3rd April 2019
By: Staff Writer


West Ham United's former Company Secretary Graham Mackrell has been found guilty of historical offences relating to the Hillsborough disaster.

Mackrell, 69, who was briefly employed by West Ham during the late-1990s was one of five individuals charged by the CPS in June 2018 with various charges relating to the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters in the 1989 tragedy.

And earlier today he was found guilty of breaching his duty of safety over the allocation of just seven turnstiles for 10,000 standing fans supporting Liverpool at the 1989 disaster.

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Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday's Secretary at the time of the incident is said to have looked "shellshocked" as the verdict was delivered, with 10 of the 12 jurors finding him guilty of all charges.

96 men, women and children were killed on the day although the charges relate to 95 victims as the last, Tony Bland, died a year fater the tragedy occurred.

Meanwhile David Duckenfield, the police match commander in charge on the day is set to face a retrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict on a charge of of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Mackrell was employed by West Ham in 1998 as the successor to Peter Storrie but quit his position at the club just one year later following the "Mannygate" incident, which cost United a place in the Worthington Cup semi finals.

West Ham were ordered to replay a 1999 quarter final tie against Aston Villa 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.

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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.





Related News

   arrow   On-loan defender returns - to glowing praise [10th Apr 2019]
   arrow   In brief - Thursday's news round-up [4th Apr 2019]
   arrow   Former secretary guilty of Hillsborough charges [3rd Apr 2019]
   arrow   Hillsborough five to face trial [29th Jun 2018]
   arrow   Show us the evidence [16th Apr 2018]
   arrow   Premier League safe standing bid rejected [9th Apr 2018]
   arrow   In brief - Thursday's news round-up [29th Jun 2017]
   arrow   'Mannygate' officer charged with Hillsborough crime [28th Jun 2017]
   arrow   'It's a Hillsborough waiting to happen' [14th Dec 2016]
   arrow   Gold optimistic over safe standing return [17th Nov 2016]



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