Topman withdraws red '96' shirt & issues apology after coming under fire from Liverpool fans 4 years ago

Topman withdraws red '96' shirt & issues apology after coming under fire from Liverpool fans

Almost every aspect of the shirt appeared to reference the 1989 tragedy.

Topman has been forced to withdraw a shirt amidst complaints that it appeared to reference the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.


The red shirt with the large number 96 was seen as being a direct reference to the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 96 people at an FA Cup semi-final football game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield.

Given that the disaster took place in the stand allocated to Liverpool fans, it naturally drew criticism for a series of notable parallels. However, the statement "96 What goes around, comes around" in particular has been seen as being highly offensive, made only worse by the fact that the word "Karma" appears on the sleeve.

Louise Brookes, whose 26-year-old brother was killed in the accident pointed out that both of these statements were used by rival football fans who called Hillsborough "God's punishment" for the Heysel disaster in which 39 people, mostly Juventus fans died at a match against Liverpool in 1985.

In a tweet, British Labour MP Alison McGovern called the shirt "very unfortunate", before requesting the retailer discontinue its sale.


Responding to the backlash, Topman "unreservedly" apologised, before pointing out that "the design was inspired by a Bob Marley track with the number referring to the year of re-release."

"The garment has been removed from sale online and in stores."


Brookes however, has said despite the chain's intention to celebrate the 1996 remix of Bob Marley's 'What Goes Around, Comes Around' the shirt will probably be used "as a way of antagonising Liverpool fans."