After the club had come out and publicly supported their racist striker, with the players and manager wearing t-shirts with his face on, it came as no surprise that their fans tried to excuse the inexcusable too.
During the FA Cup game, the 58-year-old was seen doing a monkey impression at Patrice Evra. The offence was caught on camera and the Liverpool fan was charged.
Gannon appeared in court yesterday and witnesses revealed the details of his behaviour that day.
Liverpool fan Samual Inman, who was at the game with his dad, said: “In the second half of the game, there was an incident where, towards the disabled fans, he shouted ‘fuck off you spastic mutants’. Pikey bastards was nothing I hadn’t heard before as it goes on at football matches. The comments to the disabled fans were what shocked me the most.
Gannon admitted that he called United fans “pikey bastards” but claims he didn’t realise that was racist.
Another fan close to Gannon, David McGuire, claimed he heard him insult Evra in French.
Another fan sitting near to Gannon, David McGuire, said: “I heard the defendant saying: ‘tu est petit noir homme merde’ which I took to mean ‘you are a little black shit man’. I turned to my friend next to me and said ‘Look, he’s trying to abuse him in French’. My friend then said to Mr Gannon ‘You can’t even abuse someone in French.’ Mr Gannon then replied ‘My Spanish teacher Mr Gomez taught me that’.”
Witnesses also said they saw Gannon making gestures and singing songs about the Munich Air Disaster but he denies this too.
Gannon’s defence is that he wasn’t doing a monkey impression at Evra but that he was in fact doing a “caveman dance” at the United fans, claiming that they were “Neanderthals”.
“I am not a racist,” he said. “I did not say anything to Patrice Evra or any other players. I was just giving the fans a bit of stick at the end of the game. I told them to get back in their caves and did the neanderthal at them.”
Malik Alam, who attended the game with Gannon, said: “He was not doing a monkey gesture. He was doing a sort of caveman dance.”
Yeh, right, that famous caveman dance…