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David Goodwillie has been sacked for a second time after netting a hat-trick on his debut for Northern Premier League club Radcliffe FC on Tuesday night. The 33-year-old, who was found guilty of rape in a civil case in 2017, was also sacked by Raith Rovers last September.

Goodwillie was named in the starting team for Radcliffe as the seventh tier English side took on Belper Town. And the striker, who won three caps for Scotland and scored one goal for his country, found the back of the net on three occasions as the Manchester-based side ran out 4-2 winners.

Ahead of Goodwillie’s appearance, Radcliffe had made no announcement that they had signed him. And the club have now let the player go following a backlash from supporters.

“As a club we have always been about second chances and have been a part of many players’ and staff members’ rehabilitation along that journey, we’ve always given people a chance to improve their life and found support in this endeavour,” Radcliffe said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

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“From the board down to the management team, who we backed, and have always backed on playing decisions – it’s clear that as a whole we got this wrong. The focus was misplaced and as a growing community club we realise that our impacts are also more widely felt too.

“We have always strived to be a source of pride to our town with good and honest intentions, and we think we have made a significant positive impact for our town over the last six years both on and off the field and we sincerely apologise to everyone connected with the club and the community – this is a mistake that will never happen again.”

Goodwillie, who made 20 Premier League appearances for Blackburn during the 2011/12 campaign, was ruled to be a rapist in a civil case six years after initially being charged. No criminal proceedings were instructed against the player, but he was ruled to have raped a woman in a flat in west Lothian in 2011 and was ordered to pay £100,000 in damages.