FA Cup

Crawley ban fan for Munich taunt

February 15, 2011

Crawley have handed a life ban to a fan who mocked Manchester United over the Munich air disaster in the video for their official FA Cup song.

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The non-league side recorded a version of The Specials' A Message To You Rudy, reworked by musician Mike Dobie as A Message To You Rooney to mark Saturday's Fifth Round tie at Old Trafford.

Neither the club nor the makers of the video were aware of the presence of a man making aircraft gestures until a United fan called to complain.

The club's chief executive, Alan Williams, told the Guardian: "We immediately pulled it off the website and removed it from YouTube. We've called in the police to see if they will press charges and we have identified the idiot responsible and banned him from the club for life.

"He's not welcome here now or ever again. This should be an unbelievable week for us, playing the biggest club there is, and if anyone thinks Crawley would deliberately insult Manchester United over something so sensitive, that is what gets to me more than anything.''

However, the original video can still be seen on YouTube.

The 19-year-old man has since been arrested by the police. A statement from Sussex Police issued on Tuesday morning read: "The man from Crawley was arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress and has been bailed until 25 February pending further enquiries.

"As part of his bail conditions the man is not allowed to travel to Manchester for the Crawley Town Football Club match against Manchester United on Saturday 19 February.''

Eight United players were among 23 passengers who died when a plane carrying the team back from a European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade crashed on a Munich runway in 1958.