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Tragedy chanting at Old Trafford: Burnley fan caught making offensive gestures

Tragedy chanting at Old Trafford has been a hot topic of discussion throughout the season with Man Utd fans accused of singing about the Hillsborough and Heyel disasters during an FA Cup clash with Liverpool in March.

tragedy chanting at old trafford
Tragedy chanting has been the topic of much discussion at Old Trafford this season – Photo by Icon Sport

Inappropriate songs were sung by section of Old Trafford that day which led to both Man Utd and Liverpool running a campaign with fans ahead of the league clash between the two clubs, also at Old Trafford, last month.

The campaign seemed to do the trick as no audible tragedy chanting was heard from Man Utd or Liverpool supporters in relation to the terrible tragedies that both clubs have suffered from over the years.

However, on Saturday, tragedy chanting at Old Trafford was very much back on the agenda as United took on Burnley. Although the two clubs aren't exactly rivals, one Burnley fan in the away end was caught on camera making aeroplane gestures in reference to the 1958 Munich air disaster where eight Man Utd players were killed.

Burnley respond to tragedy chanting at Old Trafford

To their credit, Burnley haven't buried their heads in the sand with this one and have released a statement saying that they will work with authorities to identify the man. On social media platform, X, they posted:

“We are aware of offensive footage currently circulating on social media from the away end of today’s fixture at Old Trafford.

“Tragedy-related gesturing and chanting is completely unacceptable, and Burnley Football Club take a zero-tolerance approach.

“We will continue to work with Greater Manchester Police, Lancashire Police and Manchester United to help identify and prosecute the individuals responsible.”

The club will be disappointed that the unsavoury incident has taken the gloss off a fantastic performance from the club at Old Trafford. They rescued a point late on from the penalty spot but they had more than enough chances to win the match.

Man arrested for tragedy chanting at Old Trafford

A 44-year-old man has been charged with causing harrassment, alarm, or distress over alleged tragedy chanting in the Manchester United game against Burnley.

Nathan Rawlinson of Bacup, Lancashire, was charged with Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 – he has been bailed.

Greater Manchester Police said: “This charge is after our specialist operational football investigation team made an arrest of a man in the away section of the Old Trafford crowd who was tragedy chanting yesterday towards the end of the Manchester United v Burnley fixture.”

“As we have enforced recently, continued incidents of tragedy chanting by anyone will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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