Classic rivals Liverpool and Manchester United faced off yesterday with Liverpool coming out victorious. However, the story of the game would not be the play on the pitch, but rather the Liverpool fan monkeying around in the stands. The picture above made the rounds on Twitter during the match and sparked an investigation into the individual and his motives. A 59 year-old North Wales man was later taken into police custody for questioning, presumably by "specialist 'hate crime' detectives."
The incident comes in the clubs' first match since Liverpool's Luis Suarez was banned for eight games after calling Manchester United's Patrice Evra a "negro." Before the match, both sides asked that fans not act like crazy people.
Evra was booed throughout by Liverpool fans and the game passed largely without any controversy and both managers praised the crowd behaviour.
Speaking before the Twitter picture came to light, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said: "I think both sets of fans were a magnificent advert for their clubs...There was a good bit banter between both fans, which is brilliant because you don't want to take that away. "
"Despite the large numbers of supporters from both clubs and lively atmosphere only 17 people were ejected from the ground and at this time, two people arrested during the policing operation, all for low level incidents."
Little did they know that the "good bit of banter" included miming like a monkey, or that it would spread across Twitter like it did. Equally unaware was the Liverpool fan, who was probably shocked to learn that miming like anything could lead to his arrest. But arrested he was.
Following the game, Liverpool made it clear that it would not tolerate racist behavior from its fan base and would be working in conjunction with the police to find the person depicted in the picture. Shortly after the police found the 59 year-old gentleman from North Wales, the police issued a statement thanking, among others, Liverpool for their cooperation.
You'll never walk alone. Unless you act like a hillbilly racist.