University student from Sheffield sent racist abuse to Wigan Athletic footballer as he blamed him for losing bet

A university student from Sheffield sent a racist social media post to a professional footballer because he blamed the player for losing a bet.

By Sam Cooper
Wednesday, 07 August, 2019, 14:52

Max Goodinson tweeted racist abuse to Wigan Athletic’s Nathan Byrne after his injury-time goal secured a 2-2 draw at Bristol City in April.

Goodinson would have won £270 if the hosts won the game.

The 20-year-old business management student from Springwood Road, Heeley, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to send a grossly offensive racist via a public communications network.

Nathan Byrne. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

He was ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £100 compensation to the player and pay £170 costs at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Presiding Magistrate Peter Trend told him: “You said you were ashamed – so you should be these were dreadful comments.”

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said that Nathan Byrne had turned on his phone after the game and saw the racially offensive message on his private Twitter account.

“He then retweeted it to make people aware of it,” she said.

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Mr Byrne is mixed race. His father is white and his mother is Afro Carribean.

In a statement, he said: “I am aware other footballers were victim of racist abuse that day. It is easy to send messages on social media thinking there would be no consequences. We are all human and these were horrendous abusive comments.”

Steven Townley, mitigating, said: “Goodinson went to watch his side Sheffield United play at Preston that day. He got very drunk and blamed Nathan Byrne for losing him his bet.

“When he got back to his hotel in Blackpool he realised what he had done and he sent Mr Byrne an apology and contacted police.

“He has had death threats over this and his family has been targeted. He was suspended by Liverpool University but has been allowed back to complete his final year.”

By David Graham