Body-Klopping! Liverpool manager hilariously cuts loose with some dad-dancing


Body-Klopping! Liverpool’s title-winning manager hilariously cuts loose with some dad-dancing in front of his players during their wild party to celebrate finally winning that elusive Premier League title

Footage has emerged of joyous Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp performing a hilarious dance routine for his players as they celebrated winning the Premier League title.

The German finally managed to end Liverpool’s 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England with Chelsea’s win over Manchester City on Thursday the deciding blow for the Reds.

Liverpool’s players gathered to watch the action unfold from Stamford Bridge at the Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa and then stayed at the venue to celebrate well into the early hours of Friday morning.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp delighted his players with some dad dancing at their title party

The German manager took centre stage on the dance floor as his players cheered him on

The German manager took centre stage on the dance floor as his players cheered him on

Dancing to club classic 'Hotel Room Service' by American star Pitbull, Klopp cut loose

Dancing to club classic ‘Hotel Room Service’ by American star Pitbull, Klopp cut loose

Klopp, known how his willingness to get stuck into the celebrations, was ecstatic and showed just how happy he was to finally cut loose on the dance floor.

Footage shows the manager being encouraged by his players to take centre stage as they stood back and let him real off some moves.

Dancing to club classic ‘Hotel Room Service’ by American star Pitbull, Klopp goes on to show off his best moves while the likes of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk cheer him on. 

Klopp was then pictured arriving back at his home in Formby on Friday morning, smiling for the cameras as he drove into his driveway.

Andy Robertson posted another video of the celebrations on Friday morning, joking ‘I only came down for breakfast’ with the majority of the squad still partying in the footage, which was captured hours before. 

Klopp was pictured arriving back at his home in Formby in his car early on Friday morning

Klopp was pictured arriving back at his home in Formby in his car early on Friday morning 

Manchester City’s defeat to Chelsea confirmed the Reds’ long wait was over as they sealed their 19th league title and first since the 1989/90 season.

Liverpool are now 23 points clear of closest challengers City with seven matches to go after racking up 28 wins, two draws and only one defeat from their 31 matches so far this campaign.   

With the squad all wearing their famous red home shirt with ‘Champions 2020’ written on the back, stars such as Van Dijk, Mo Salah and Robertson partied long into the night.

In joyous scenes shared by Trent Alexander-Arnold and the rest of the players on social media, fans were given an insight into how the players toasted the biggest night of their careers  

Andy Robertson shared more footage on Friday morning, including a close up of Virgl van Dijk

Andy Robertson shared more footage on Friday morning, including a close up of Virgl van Dijk

Robertson had joked he'd come down for breakfast to see his team-mates still going wild

Robertson had joked he’d come down for breakfast to see his team-mates still going wild

Mohamed Salah (middle, front) shared a group photo with Dejan Lovren (left), Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho (right) as the players partied into the early hours of Friday morning

Mohamed Salah (middle, front) shared a group photo with Dejan Lovren (left), Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho (right) as the players partied into the early hours of Friday morning

Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum savour their moment of glory arm-in-arm

Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum savour their moment of glory arm-in-arm

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain laps it all up with arms outstretched as he stands in a soaked shirt

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain laps it all up with arms outstretched as he stands in a soaked shirt

Klopp’s dance-floor antics came just hours after he fought back tears during an emotional interview.

The former Dortmund boss was overcome with emotion and said: ‘We had to convince people and that is what we did together. It is a big moment. I am completely overwhelmed. I had no idea it would feel like this.

‘It’s for you. It is incredible. Celebrate it at home or in front of your house. It is a joy.

‘My coaching staff, I could not be more proud of what a lot of people in Liverpool did. It has been a very exciting ride since the first day. We enjoy this moment. It is the best thing I can imagine. It is more than I could dream.

‘We are in a bubble. I know it is difficult out there for a lot of people. These moments are unforgettable. We will create pictures in the parade for all of our supporters when we can celebrate in a proper manner.

‘It is a mix of the history you created, we are compared with that. We had to write our own story. We have a wonderful mix of players, all winners. It is so incredibly difficult in this competition but consistency drives us.’  

Body-Klopping! Liverpool manager hilariously cuts loose with some dad-dancing


Body-Klopping! Liverpool’s title-winning manager hilariously cuts loose with some dad-dancing in front of his players during their wild party to celebrate finally winning that elusive Premier League title

Footage has emerged of joyous Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp performing a hilarious dance routine for his players as they celebrated winning the Premier League title.

The German finally managed to end Liverpool’s 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England with Chelsea’s win over Manchester City on Thursday the deciding blow for the Reds.

Liverpool’s players gathered to watch the action unfold from Stamford Bridge at the Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa and then stayed at the venue to celebrate well into the early hours of Friday morning.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp delighted his players with some dad dancing at their title party

The German manager took centre stage on the dance floor as his players cheered him on

The German manager took centre stage on the dance floor as his players cheered him on

Dancing to club classic 'Hotel Room Service' by American star Pitbull, Klopp cut loose

Dancing to club classic ‘Hotel Room Service’ by American star Pitbull, Klopp cut loose

Klopp, known how his willingness to get stuck into the celebrations, was ecstatic and showed just how happy he was to finally cut loose on the dance floor.

Footage shows the manager being encouraged by his players to take centre stage as they stood back and let him real off some moves.

Dancing to club classic ‘Hotel Room Service’ by American star Pitbull, Klopp goes on to show off his best moves while the likes of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk cheer him on. 

Klopp was then pictured arriving back at his home in Formby on Friday morning, smiling for the cameras as he drove into his driveway.

Andy Robertson posted another video of the celebrations on Friday morning, joking ‘I only came down for breakfast’ with the majority of the squad still partying in the footage, which was captured hours before. 

Klopp was pictured arriving back at his home in Formby in his car early on Friday morning

Klopp was pictured arriving back at his home in Formby in his car early on Friday morning 

Manchester City’s defeat to Chelsea confirmed the Reds’ long wait was over as they sealed their 19th league title and first since the 1989/90 season.

Liverpool are now 23 points clear of closest challengers City with seven matches to go after racking up 28 wins, two draws and only one defeat from their 31 matches so far this campaign.   

With the squad all wearing their famous red home shirt with ‘Champions 2020’ written on the back, stars such as Van Dijk, Mo Salah and Robertson partied long into the night.

In joyous scenes shared by Trent Alexander-Arnold and the rest of the players on social media, fans were given an insight into how the players toasted the biggest night of their careers  

Andy Robertson shared more footage on Friday morning, including a close up of Virgl van Dijk

Andy Robertson shared more footage on Friday morning, including a close up of Virgl van Dijk

Robertson had joked he'd come down for breakfast to see his team-mates still going wild

Robertson had joked he’d come down for breakfast to see his team-mates still going wild

Mohamed Salah (middle, front) shared a group photo with Dejan Lovren (left), Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho (right) as the players partied into the early hours of Friday morning

Mohamed Salah (middle, front) shared a group photo with Dejan Lovren (left), Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho (right) as the players partied into the early hours of Friday morning

Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum savour their moment of glory arm-in-arm

Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum savour their moment of glory arm-in-arm

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain laps it all up with arms outstretched as he stands in a soaked shirt

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain laps it all up with arms outstretched as he stands in a soaked shirt

Klopp’s dance-floor antics came just hours after he fought back tears during an emotional interview.

The former Dortmund boss was overcome with emotion and said: ‘We had to convince people and that is what we did together. It is a big moment. I am completely overwhelmed. I had no idea it would feel like this.

‘It’s for you. It is incredible. Celebrate it at home or in front of your house. It is a joy.

‘My coaching staff, I could not be more proud of what a lot of people in Liverpool did. It has been a very exciting ride since the first day. We enjoy this moment. It is the best thing I can imagine. It is more than I could dream.

‘We are in a bubble. I know it is difficult out there for a lot of people. These moments are unforgettable. We will create pictures in the parade for all of our supporters when we can celebrate in a proper manner.

‘It is a mix of the history you created, we are compared with that. We had to write our own story. We have a wonderful mix of players, all winners. It is so incredibly difficult in this competition but consistency drives us.’  

Liverpool’s squad win the Premier League title after Man City lose to Chelsea – and celebrate wildly


Virgil van Dijk led Liverpool’s jubilant celebrations after they finally ended their 30-year league title wait on Thursday night. 

Gathering together at a hotel, Jurgen Klopp’s men watched an outdoor screen as Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge confirmed their position as champions in an outstanding campaign which has seen them drop just seven points all season. 

Klopp was clearly emotional as he appeared on television afterwards – while his players were in the mood to party as they mobbed Van Dijk during his interview on BT Sport. Then it was on to a championship celebration with the players’ wives at ‘the home of the champions’. 

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was coy when quizzed on where players celebrating, keen to preserve the secret nature of their hideout for fears ‘thousands of fans would turn up’ to join them. 

The Liverpool midfielder clenched his bicep in celebration with players watching the Man City match together at a hotel in Merseyside

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recorded the moments at the final whistle when Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years was confirmed as players watched together at a Merseyside hotel

Mohamed Salah (middle, front) shared a group photo with Dejan Lovren (left), Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho (right) as the players partied into the early hours of Friday morning

Mohamed Salah (middle, front) shared a group photo with Dejan Lovren (left), Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker and Fabinho (right) as the players partied into the early hours of Friday morning

Salah shared a very short video on his Instagram story as he bopped along to some music

The Egyptian was alongside Lovren as the defender enjoyed a beer while sat at a table to toast the title

Salah shared a very short video on his Instagram story as he bopped along to some music

Virgil van Dijk was giving an interview once the title was confirmed but he was soon mobbed

Virgil van Dijk was giving an interview once the title was confirmed but he was soon mobbed

Players chanted 'champeones' as the Dutchman was piled on by team-mates in celebration

Players chanted ‘champeones’ as the Dutchman was piled on by team-mates in celebration

Van Dijk (right) marked the moment of the title celebrations with a selfie alongside captain Jordan Henderson (far left) and fellow centre back partner Joe Gomez (middle)

Van Dijk (right) marked the moment of the title celebrations with a selfie alongside captain Jordan Henderson (far left) and fellow centre back partner Joe Gomez (middle) 

Jurgen Klopp could barely hide the tears as he reflected on what is an historic season

Jurgen Klopp could barely hide the tears as he reflected on what is an historic season

Divock Origi gave a nod to the celebrations by showing off the drinks available to players

Divock Origi gave a nod to the celebrations by showing off the drinks available to players

Players did a drum-roll for the final seconds of the match at Stamford Bridge as they sat together as a group in an outdoor seating area at the hotel.

Defender Andy Robertson, goalkeeper Alisson and playmaker Roberto Firmino were among those bursting into song in club colours as the squad shared their joy.

Robertson revealed that the players were hoping boss Jurgen Klopp would give them a rest after the party, telling the BBC: ‘We’re still trying to convince the boss downstairs to give us a few days off!

‘Give him a couple more beers and I think we’ll get two days off.’

Tearful manager Klopp had to cut an interview short as he admitted: ‘I have no real words. I never would have thought I would feel like this.  

‘It is easy for me to motivate the team because of our great history. This is for you [fans] out there. I hope you stay at home. Celebrate at the front of your house.’ 

An emotional Klopp admitted he is 'completely overwhelmed' after Liverpool's title win

An emotional Klopp admitted he is ‘completely overwhelmed’ after Liverpool’s title win

Klopp was speaking to Sir Kenny Dalglish (right), who secured Liverpool's last league title

Klopp was speaking to Sir Kenny Dalglish (right), who secured Liverpool’s last league title

Liverpool fans celebrate after seeing their side win the Premier League on Thursday night

Liverpool fans celebrate after seeing their side win the Premier League on Thursday night

‘I have no words. It’s unbelievable. Becoming champions with this club is incredible.’

Captain Jordan Henderson praised Klopp for revolutionising the club, saying: ‘It wouldn’t be possible to do it without the manager. 

‘From day one he changed everything. We all followed him.

‘What you see is what you get, with his press conferences and on the sidelines.

‘Obviously he has got more of a personal side with the players, but he has got a balance of having a relationship with the players and being a friend but also being a bit ruthless when he needs to be.

Anfield was submerged by red smoke as fans marked a momentous day for the city and club

Anfield was submerged by red smoke as fans marked a momentous day for the city and club

Liverpool have won 28 of their 31 matches this season and have not lost at Anfield since 2017

Liverpool have won 28 of their 31 matches this season and have not lost at Anfield since 2017

Rafael Benitez, who won the Champions League as Reds boss in 2005, added congratulations

Rafael Benitez, who won the Champions League as Reds boss in 2005, added congratulations

‘He is a great leader and a great human being and we all believe in him. To be honest, I’m lost for words. 

‘You never really think of this moment. When this moment comes I can’t really describe it. It’s another moment in our lives that we’ll never forget.

‘It feels amazing. I’m so happy for all the boys. The club, the whole city. I am so proud of what we achieved.’

Before his triumphant team-mates pounced on him, Van Dijk told BT Sport: ‘It’s incredible to be part of this group of players.

Van Dijk said the victory had taken the club to a different level after a near-flawless term

Van Dijk said the victory had taken the club to a different level after a near-flawless term

‘Last season we won the Champions League and this year, especially in the Premier League, we have taken it to a different level. We have been so consistent and doing so well.

‘It’s a fantastic feeling. From the moment I’ve joined it’s one team, everyone is part of it, from the people that work at Melwood, in the stadium and the players of course. 

‘We all want the same thing. Off the pitch we have a bond which is outstanding as well.’

Liverpool’s last top-flight triumph came in 1990 but they won the title at a canter this time, completing the job with a 23-point lead over Manchester City and seven matches to spare. 

Dalglish, who was their manager when they lifted the First Division trophy, watched the players start the party and said: ‘I’m very pleased for everybody connected with the football club. Jurgen has done a fantastic job.

‘The highlight has been the camaraderie within the team and the way everyone has helped the team.

Van Dijk (right) spoke glowingly of the outstanding bond between the players and Klopp

Van Dijk (right) spoke glowingly of the outstanding bond between the players and Klopp

Klopp took over as coach in 2015 and led the club to the Champions League title last season

Klopp took over as coach in 2015 and led the club to the Champions League title last season

‘We have many more happy days to look forward to as long as Jurgen is here. Liverpool from top to bottom in the football club have been fantastically supportive. You know how much it means. Jurgen Klopp epitomises everything that this football club is about. Onwards and upwards.’

Klopp dedicated the title to Dalglish and club legend Steven Gerrard, who praised his former boss and club owners Fenway Sports Group on Instagram.

The former Reds captain wrote: ‘Congratulations to all on winning the premier league.

Liverpool won the title without kicking a ball after Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea

Liverpool won the title without kicking a ball after Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea

Ex-Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was among the club's former players delighted at the news

Ex-Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was among the club’s former players delighted at the news

‘Incredible achievement from a fantastic squad of top players, led by a world-class manager and coaching team.

‘And lastly and most importantly, the fans who have waited 30 years.’ 



Liverpool’s squad win the Premier League title after Man City lose to Chelsea – and celebrate wildly


Virgil van Dijk led Liverpool’s jubilant celebrations after they finally ended their 30-year league title wait on Thursday night. 

Gathering together at a hotel, Jurgen Klopp’s men watched an outdoor screen as Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge confirmed their position as champions in an outstanding campaign which has seen them drop just seven points all season. 

Klopp was clearly emotional as he appeared on television afterwards – while his players were in the mood to party as they mobbed Van Dijk during his interview on BT Sport. Then it was on to a championship celebration with the players’ wives at ‘the home of the champions’. 

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was coy when quizzed on where players celebrating, keen to preserve the secret nature of their hideout for fears ‘thousands of fans would turn up’ to join them. 

The Liverpool midfielder clenched his bicep in celebration with players watching the Man City match together at a hotel in Merseyside

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recorded the moments at the final whistle when Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years was confirmed as players watched together at a Merseyside hotel

Virgil van Dijk was giving an interview once the title was confirmed but he was soon mobbed

Virgil van Dijk was giving an interview once the title was confirmed but he was soon mobbed

Players chanted 'champeones' as the Dutchman was piled on by team-mates in celebration

Players chanted ‘champeones’ as the Dutchman was piled on by team-mates in celebration

Van Dijk (right) marked the moment of the title celebrations with a selfie alongside captain Jordan Henderson (far left) and fellow centre back partner Joe Gomez (middle)

Van Dijk (right) marked the moment of the title celebrations with a selfie alongside captain Jordan Henderson (far left) and fellow centre back partner Joe Gomez (middle) 

Jurgen Klopp could barely hide the tears as he reflected on what is an historic season

Jurgen Klopp could barely hide the tears as he reflected on what is an historic season

Divock Origi gave a nod to the celebrations by showing off the drinks available to players

Divock Origi gave a nod to the celebrations by showing off the drinks available to players

Players did a drum-roll for the final seconds of the match at Stamford Bridge as they sat together as a group in an outdoor seating area at the hotel.

Defender Andy Robertson, goalkeeper Alisson and playmaker Roberto Firmino were among those bursting into song in club colours as the squad shared their joy.

Robertson revealed that the players were hoping boss Jurgen Klopp would give them a rest after the party, telling the BBC: ‘We’re still trying to convince the boss downstairs to give us a few days off!

‘Give him a couple more beers and I think we’ll get two days off.’

Tearful manager Klopp had to cut an interview short as he admitted: ‘I have no real words. I never would have thought I would feel like this.  

‘It is easy for me to motivate the team because of our great history. This is for you [fans] out there. I hope you stay at home. Celebrate at the front of your house.’ 

An emotional Klopp admitted he is 'completely overwhelmed' after Liverpool's title win

An emotional Klopp admitted he is ‘completely overwhelmed’ after Liverpool’s title win

Klopp was speaking to Sir Kenny Dalglish (right), who secured Liverpool's last league title

Klopp was speaking to Sir Kenny Dalglish (right), who secured Liverpool’s last league title

Liverpool fans celebrate after seeing their side win the Premier League on Thursday night

Liverpool fans celebrate after seeing their side win the Premier League on Thursday night

‘I have no words. It’s unbelievable. Becoming champions with this club is incredible.’

Captain Jordan Henderson praised Klopp for revolutionising the club, saying: ‘It wouldn’t be possible to do it without the manager. 

‘From day one he changed everything. We all followed him.

‘What you see is what you get, with his press conferences and on the sidelines.

‘Obviously he has got more of a personal side with the players, but he has got a balance of having a relationship with the players and being a friend but also being a bit ruthless when he needs to be.

Anfield was submerged by red smoke as fans marked a momentous day for the city and club

Anfield was submerged by red smoke as fans marked a momentous day for the city and club

Liverpool have won 28 of their 31 matches this season and have not lost at Anfield since 2017

Liverpool have won 28 of their 31 matches this season and have not lost at Anfield since 2017

Rafael Benitez, who won the Champions League as Reds boss in 2005, added congratulations

Rafael Benitez, who won the Champions League as Reds boss in 2005, added congratulations

‘He is a great leader and a great human being and we all believe in him. To be honest, I’m lost for words. 

‘You never really think of this moment. When this moment comes I can’t really describe it. It’s another moment in our lives that we’ll never forget.

‘It feels amazing. I’m so happy for all the boys. The club, the whole city. I am so proud of what we achieved.’

Before his triumphant team-mates pounced on him, Van Dijk told BT Sport: ‘It’s incredible to be part of this group of players.

Van Dijk said the victory had taken the club to a different level after a near-flawless term

Van Dijk said the victory had taken the club to a different level after a near-flawless term

‘Last season we won the Champions League and this year, especially in the Premier League, we have taken it to a different level. We have been so consistent and doing so well.

‘It’s a fantastic feeling. From the moment I’ve joined it’s one team, everyone is part of it, from the people that work at Melwood, in the stadium and the players of course. 

‘We all want the same thing. Off the pitch we have a bond which is outstanding as well.’

Liverpool’s last top-flight triumph came in 1990 but they won the title at a canter this time, completing the job with a 23-point lead over Manchester City and seven matches to spare. 

Dalglish, who was their manager when they lifted the First Division trophy, watched the players start the party and said: ‘I’m very pleased for everybody connected with the football club. Jurgen has done a fantastic job.

‘The highlight has been the camaraderie within the team and the way everyone has helped the team.

Van Dijk (right) spoke glowingly of the outstanding bond between the players and Klopp

Van Dijk (right) spoke glowingly of the outstanding bond between the players and Klopp

Klopp took over as coach in 2015 and led the club to the Champions League title last season

Klopp took over as coach in 2015 and led the club to the Champions League title last season

‘We have many more happy days to look forward to as long as Jurgen is here. Liverpool from top to bottom in the football club have been fantastically supportive. You know how much it means. Jurgen Klopp epitomises everything that this football club is about. Onwards and upwards.’

Klopp dedicated the title to Dalglish and club legend Steven Gerrard, who praised his former boss and club owners Fenway Sports Group on Instagram.

The former Reds captain wrote: ‘Congratulations to all on winning the premier league.

Liverpool won the title without kicking a ball after Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea

Liverpool won the title without kicking a ball after Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea

Ex-Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was among the club's former players delighted at the news

Ex-Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was among the club’s former players delighted at the news

‘Incredible achievement from a fantastic squad of top players, led by a world-class manager and coaching team.

‘And lastly and most importantly, the fans who have waited 30 years.’ 



No crime was committed when ‘White Lives Matter’ banner was flown over Ethiad stadium, police say 


Police investigating a Burnley football fan who chartered a plane and flew a ‘White Lives Matter’ banner above the Etihad stadium say no crime was committed. 

Jake Hepple, claimed responsibility for last night’s pre-match stunt and wrote on Facebook: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight and its message ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’, which flew over the stadium just after Manchester City and Burnley FC players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Lancashire Police today confirmed that Mr Hepple, from Colne, who has posted in support of the EDL and has been pictured with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, had not been found to have committed a criminal offence.   

Ch Supt Russ Procter said: ‘Today Lancashire Constabulary has been in liaison with Greater Manchester Police, the Aviation Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service regards the ‘White Lives Matter’ banner that was flown over the Etihad Stadium last night.

‘After assessing all the information available surrounding this incident we have concluded that there are no criminal offences that have been disclosed at this time. We will continue to work with our partners at the football club and within the local authority.’

Despite this Hepple’s employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were looking into his conduct and would announce any action soon. 

Earlier today sources close to the police investigation told The Telegraph that those involved could be quizzed over a racially aggravated public order offence related to the message, rather than the flight itself.

It came as Blackpool Airport – which was used by the plane – announced it had suspended all banner towing operations ‘with immediate effect’ and said it ‘did not condone’ the message. 

Scroll down for video.  

A plane carrying a banner reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ was flown over the Etihad stadium ahead of the team’s match with Manchester yesterday evening

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Mr Hepple's girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media

Mr Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media 

Jake Hepple posted an image of the plane on Facebook yesterday and wrote: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!

What could the banner organisers be charged with? 

Lancashire Police say they are investigating last nights incident to see if any criminal charges could be brought, but refused to give details. 

However, previous cases suggest there are several avenues if the authorities were to consider charges, including: 

Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 – A person is guilty of an offence if they ‘use threatening [or abusive] words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour’ or ‘displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening [or abusive].’

Air Navigation Order 2009 – This makes it an offence to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft. It is not clear if this happened in last night’s incident.   

‘It’s now apparently racist to say White Lives Matter, the day after three white people got murdered in a park in Reading, but all we’ve seen on the TV is Black Lives Matter after George Floyd got murdered. What a mad world we live in.’  

Other members of the Suicide Squad – a group of hooligan Burnley fans – are thought to have spent the past week crowdfunding for the banner and flyover. 

Last night’s stunt led to outrage and has been widely condemned, with Burnley captain Ben Mee saying he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’.

Speaking after the match, which his side lost 5-0, he noted that the Burnley players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned. 

The company that operated the plane, Air Ads, is based in Stockport and flies from Blackpool Airport. However, it emerged this afternoon that the airport had suspended flights operated by the company pending an investigation. 

One of its directors, Alan Elliott, was fined £2,000 in 2017 for flying 400ft from Goodison Park after being paid by an Everton fan to display a sign emblazoned with ‘Thank you Mr Kenwright’ in support of the club chairman. 

Under the Air Navigation Order 2009, aircraft are not allowed to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft within a 600-yard radius of the highest obstacle. 

MailOnline has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority to ask if the same offence was committed last night.

A former pilot at Blackpool Airport claimed they knew the pilot at Air Ads and confirmed the firm used to be run by Alan Elliot, who died a few weeks ago.

The pilot, who did not wish to be named, told Sky News that the banners are made to order and the flights cost around £700, with pilots taking around £100 per flight.

He added: ‘We would assume whoever paid for the banner would get done for it.’

Chequered history of air banner firm who provided plane for ‘White Lives Matter’ stunt

The Cessna C-182 was chartered from Air Ads Ltd, which is based at Blackpool Airport. The small aircraft was spotted on flight tracking service FlightRadar24 leaving the seaside resort and flying over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, shortly after players and support staff had held a minute’s silence for Covid-19 victims and went down on one knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt

One pilot from Air Ads Ltd, Alan Elliott, from Bolton, was prosecuted in 2017 having flown a banner over Goodison Park, Everton.

The pilot was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,500 prosecution costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court after he flew within 400 feet of the stadium – endangering the public and his aircraft.

Mr Elliot had been paid £800 to fly the banner. Though he should not have been below 1,000ft in a congested area such as a city centre or within a radius of 600 yards of the highest obstacle.

The rules are designed to allow a small aircraft the chance to glide to safety if its engine fails.

Mr Elliott died on May 3, according to his family.

In July 2010 the company wrote off an aircraft which crashed into a hangar while refuelling in Compton Abbas Airfield, Dorset.

According to an air accident report by the Civil Aviation Authority, when the aircraft restarted, it lurched forward and crashed into the hangar before the pilot was able to react. 

Air Ads was involved in a crash on July 18, 2010, when the pilot wrote off a plane by mistakenly revving up the engine while taxiing on the runway and slammed into a hangar. 

The pilot, who was not named in an incident report, escaped uninjured. 

Air Ads Ltd has been involved in several other high-profile publicity stunts, including flying a banner over Burnley’s Turf Moor stadium reading ‘Go Clarets’ for a local newspaper and advertising a marriage proposal. 

Alan Elliott, who was involved in the Everton incident, died on May 3 this year, according to his family. His son, Alan Mark Elliott, is still listed as a director. MailOnline has contacted the company for comment. 

Bob Stinger, one of the pilots associated with Air Ads, denied being at the controls last night but declined to comment further. 

Burnley captain Ben Mee said he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’ of the stunt, and revealed that his players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned.

‘I am ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium,’ he said. ‘It is not what we are about. 

‘They have missed what we are trying to achieve. These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They don’t represent what we are about, the club is about, the players are about and the majority of fans are about.

‘I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t want to associate it with my club. I don’t want to see this in the game. 

‘It is not right. We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve.’ 

Mr Hepple’s employer, Paradigm Precision in Burnley, said today: ‘We are aware of the incident that took place and are currently investigating the conduct of our employee. Once we have completed our enquiries, we will release a full statement.’ 

Chief Supt Russ Procter, from Lancashire Police, said: ‘We are making enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and we will then be in a position to make an assessment as to whether any criminal offences have taken place.

‘We recognise that this banner will have caused offence to many people in Lancashire and beyond and we continue to liaise closely with our partners at both the club and in the local authority.’  

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

‘I condemn the actions of those responsible for the banner flown over the Etihad Stadium yesterday evening.

‘We will always support the police and other relevant authorities to investigate any reports of inappropriate or illegal activities, providing whatever assistance we can.’ 

Blackpool Airport said: ‘The decision to fly the banner was taken entirely by the banner flying company without the knowledge or approval of the airport or Blackpool Council.

‘Due to the nature of the activity, banners are not checked before take-off and the content is at the operator’s discretion. 

‘Following an emergency review this morning, Blackpool Airport will suspend all banner towing operations at the airport with immediate effect and we would suggest that other airports should also consider this approach in light of what has happened at Blackpool.’  

Mr Hepple with his partner, Megan Rambadt, who tweeted that her town was 'like a foreign country' before adding in a follow-up post, 'They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s'

Mr Hepple with his partner, Megan Rambadt, who tweeted that her town was ‘like a foreign country’ before adding in a follow-up post, ‘They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s’

Mr Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done

Mr Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done 

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

Last night's aerial display reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League 

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

Ben Mee, who was born is Sale, said Burnley tried to halt the plans once they became aware of what was to follow.

Fan behind plane posted racist ‘P***’ messages online while bosses suspend his girlfriend from beauty job after racist tweets

The Burnley fan who chartered a plane and flew a White Lives Matter banner above the Etihad stadium shared a series of racist slurs on social media, it emerged today, as his girlfriend was suspended from her beauty job for her own bigoted posts. 

Jake Hepple ranted about ‘P***s’ while his partner, Megan Rambadt, tweeted that her town was ‘like a foreign country’ before adding in a follow-up post, ‘They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s’. 

Ms Rambadt's tweet about Burnley being like a 'foreign country' that 'needs sorting'

Ms Rambadt’s tweet about Burnley being like a ‘foreign country’ that ‘needs sorting’ 

Hepple, who has posted in support of the EDL on Facebook and appeared in a photo with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, claimed responsibility for the stunt last night, writing: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight, which flew over the stadium just after players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter.

Lancashire Police today confirmed it was investigating Mr Hepple, from Colne, as his employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were investigating his conduct and would announce any action soon. 

It came as Solace Foot Health and Reflexology, which employs Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, condemned ‘abhorrently racist’ comments she had posted on social media and said they would ‘deal with the situation internally’.  

‘As we were coming out we heard some whispers that it was going to happen,’ he added. ‘The club tried to stop it. I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again.’

Manager Sean Dyche echoed his captain’s words, as did several other football figures, including BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. 

In addition to taking a knee before games, all Premier League players have worn the words Black Lives Matter on the back on their shirts and a logo on the sleeve to show support for the movement. 

BLM protests erupted worldwide following the death of George Floyd, 46, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on his neck for nine minutes in Minneapolis in the US on May 25. 

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism. 

A Burnley spokesman said: ‘Burnley Football Club strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner that flew over The Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.

‘We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.

‘The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind. 

‘We are fully behind the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.

‘We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.’  

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message 'White Lives Matter Burnley'

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’

Alan Elliott - pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates' Court - is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park

Alan Elliott – pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates’ Court – is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park 

Burnley FC Police - a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club - said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley FC Police – a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club – said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt. 

MailOnline columnist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘A plane flew over the Etihad stadium tonight with this banner saying ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’. So depressing.’ 

Pundit and former England footballer Lineker added: ‘I’m sure @BurnleyOfficial will condemn this s***housery.’

Rachel Riley commented: ‘Anyone fancy a crowdfunder to get these idiots a tattoo to mark their brave and clever stunt. I reckon ‘Man City 5 – Burnley 0′ would be perfect.’ 

Comedian Omid Djalli said: ‘Brilliant Ben Mee being on it ASAP. The Black Lives Matter movement is everyone against racism and discrimination towards all minorities. 

‘Burnley FC have apologised for an idiotic minority who want a race war. Well done the Premier League for keeping on highlighting injustice.

‘If someone is chartering a plane to fly a banner like that over a football match, it proves definitively that there are racists out there literally with more money than sense.’ 

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was 'disappointed' by the provocative message

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was ‘disappointed’ by the provocative message 

In response to the distasteful stunt, other Burnley fans have started a Go Fund Me page raising money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of the black teenager after he was killed in a racist attack in 1993. 

Sports commentator Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White Lives Matter – Burnley’. F***ing hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace.’

Players have been taking to their knees throughout the Premier League in a sign of support in the fight against inequality and injustice which was adopted by sports stars in 2016 after NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem.

Last night’s stunt comes after a plane towing a confederate flag flew over a NASCAR track and a noose was found in the garage of black driver Bubba Wallace at a race in Alabama on Sunday.

The shocking discovery came less than two weeks after he successfully pushed the auto racing series to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and facilities.

Nascar announced the discovery on Sunday and said it would do everything possible to find who was responsible and ‘eliminate them from the sport.’    

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili 

Sam Lee tweeted: 'There's a plane flying over the Etihad that says 'White lives matter - Burnley'. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace'

Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White lives matter – Burnley’. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace’

No crime was committed when ‘White Lives Matter’ banner was flown over Ethiad stadium, police say 


Police investigating a Burnley football fan who chartered a plane and flew a White Lives Matter banner above the Etihad stadium say no crime was committed. 

Jake Hepple, who has posted in support of the EDL and been pictured with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, claimed responsibility for last night’s stunt and wrote on Facebook: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

Lancashire Police today confirmed that Mr Hepple, from Colne, who was being investigated for a racially aggravated public order offence related to the message, had not been found to have committed a criminal offence. 

Ch Supt Russ Procter said: ‘Today Lancashire Constabulary has been in liaison with Greater Manchester Police, the Aviation Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service regards the ‘White Lives Matter’ banner that was flown over the Etihad Stadium last night.

‘After assessing all the information available surrounding this incident we have concluded that there are no criminal offences that have been disclosed at this time. We will continue to work with our partners at the football club and within the local authority.’

Despite this Hepple’s employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were looking into his conduct and would announce any action soon.

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight, which flew over the stadium just after players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Sources close to the police investigation told The Telegraph that those involved could be quizzed over a racially aggravated public order offence related to the message, rather than the flight itself. 

It came as Blackpool Airport – which was used by the plane – announced it had suspended all banner towing operations ‘with immediate effect’ and said it ‘did not condone’ the message. 

Scroll down for video.  

A plane carrying a banner reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ was flown over the Etihad stadium ahead of the team’s match with Manchester yesterday evening

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Mr Hepple's girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media

Mr Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media 

Jake Hepple posted an image of the plane on Facebook yesterday and wrote: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!

What could the banner organisers be charged with? 

Lancashire Police say they are investigating last nights incident to see if any criminal charges could be brought, but refused to give details. 

However, previous cases suggest there are several avenues if the authorities were to consider charges, including: 

Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 – A person is guilty of an offence if they ‘use threatening [or abusive] words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour’ or ‘displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening [or abusive].’

Air Navigation Order 2009 – This makes it an offence to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft. It is not clear if this happened in last night’s incident.   

‘It’s now apparently racist to say White Lives Matter, the day after three white people got murdered in a park in Reading, but all we’ve seen on the TV is Black Lives Matter after George Floyd got murdered. What a mad world we live in.’  

Other members of the Suicide Squad – a group of hooligan Burnley fans – are thought to have spent the past week crowdfunding for the banner and flyover. 

Last night’s stunt led to outrage and has been widely condemned, with Burnley captain Ben Mee saying he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’.

Speaking after the match, which his side lost 5-0, he noted that the Burnley players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned. 

The company that operated the plane, Air Ads, is based in Stockport and flies from Blackpool Airport. However, it emerged this afternoon that the airport had suspended flights operated by the company pending an investigation. 

One of its directors, Alan Elliott, was fined £2,000 in 2017 for flying 400ft from Goodison Park after being paid by an Everton fan to display a sign emblazoned with ‘Thank you Mr Kenwright’ in support of the club chairman. 

Under the Air Navigation Order 2009, aircraft are not allowed to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft within a 600-yard radius of the highest obstacle. 

MailOnline has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority to ask if the same offence was committed last night.

A former pilot at Blackpool Airport claimed they knew the pilot at Air Ads and confirmed the firm used to be run by Alan Elliot, who died a few weeks ago.

The pilot, who did not wish to be named, told Sky News that the banners are made to order and the flights cost around £700, with pilots taking around £100 per flight.

He added: ‘We would assume whoever paid for the banner would get done for it.’

Chequered history of air banner firm who provided plane for ‘White Lives Matter’ stunt

The Cessna C-182 was chartered from Air Ads Ltd, which is based at Blackpool Airport. The small aircraft was spotted on flight tracking service FlightRadar24 leaving the seaside resort and flying over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, shortly after players and support staff had held a minute’s silence for Covid-19 victims and went down on one knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt

One pilot from Air Ads Ltd, Alan Elliott, from Bolton, was prosecuted in 2017 having flown a banner over Goodison Park, Everton.

The pilot was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,500 prosecution costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court after he flew within 400 feet of the stadium – endangering the public and his aircraft.

Mr Elliot had been paid £800 to fly the banner. Though he should not have been below 1,000ft in a congested area such as a city centre or within a radius of 600 yards of the highest obstacle.

The rules are designed to allow a small aircraft the chance to glide to safety if its engine fails.

Mr Elliott died on May 3, according to his family.

In July 2010 the company wrote off an aircraft which crashed into a hangar while refuelling in Compton Abbas Airfield, Dorset.

According to an air accident report by the Civil Aviation Authority, when the aircraft restarted, it lurched forward and crashed into the hangar before the pilot was able to react. 

Air Ads was involved in a crash on July 18, 2010, when the pilot wrote off a plane by mistakenly revving up the engine while taxiing on the runway and slammed into a hangar. 

The pilot, who was not named in an incident report, escaped uninjured. 

Air Ads Ltd has been involved in several other high-profile publicity stunts, including flying a banner over Burnley’s Turf Moor stadium reading ‘Go Clarets’ for a local newspaper and advertising a marriage proposal. 

Alan Elliott, who was involved in the Everton incident, died on May 3 this year, according to his family. His son, Alan Mark Elliott, is still listed as a director. MailOnline has contacted the company for comment. 

Bob Stinger, one of the pilots associated with Air Ads, denied being at the controls last night but declined to comment further. 

Burnley captain Ben Mee said he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’ of the stunt, and revealed that his players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned.

‘I am ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium,’ he said. ‘It is not what we are about. 

‘They have missed what we are trying to achieve. These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They don’t represent what we are about, the club is about, the players are about and the majority of fans are about.

‘I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t want to associate it with my club. I don’t want to see this in the game. 

‘It is not right. We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve.’ 

Mr Hepple’s employer, Paradigm Precision in Burnley, said today: ‘We are aware of the incident that took place and are currently investigating the conduct of our employee. Once we have completed our enquiries, we will release a full statement.’ 

Chief Supt Russ Procter, from Lancashire Police, said: ‘We are making enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and we will then be in a position to make an assessment as to whether any criminal offences have taken place.

‘We recognise that this banner will have caused offence to many people in Lancashire and beyond and we continue to liaise closely with our partners at both the club and in the local authority.’  

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

‘I condemn the actions of those responsible for the banner flown over the Etihad Stadium yesterday evening.

‘We will always support the police and other relevant authorities to investigate any reports of inappropriate or illegal activities, providing whatever assistance we can.’ 

Blackpool Airport said: ‘The decision to fly the banner was taken entirely by the banner flying company without the knowledge or approval of the airport or Blackpool Council.

‘Due to the nature of the activity, banners are not checked before take-off and the content is at the operator’s discretion. 

‘Following an emergency review this morning, Blackpool Airport will suspend all banner towing operations at the airport with immediate effect and we would suggest that other airports should also consider this approach in light of what has happened at Blackpool.’  

Mr Hepple with his partner, Megan Rambadt, who tweeted that her town was 'like a foreign country' before adding in a follow-up post, 'They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s'

Mr Hepple with his partner, Megan Rambadt, who tweeted that her town was ‘like a foreign country’ before adding in a follow-up post, ‘They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s’

Mr Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done

Mr Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done 

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

Last night's aerial display reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League 

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

Ben Mee, who was born is Sale, said Burnley tried to halt the plans once they became aware of what was to follow.

Fan behind plane posted racist ‘P***’ messages online while bosses suspend his girlfriend from beauty job after racist tweets

The Burnley fan who chartered a plane and flew a White Lives Matter banner above the Etihad stadium shared a series of racist slurs on social media, it emerged today, as his girlfriend was suspended from her beauty job for her own bigoted posts. 

Jake Hepple ranted about ‘P***s’ while his partner, Megan Rambadt, tweeted that her town was ‘like a foreign country’ before adding in a follow-up post, ‘They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s’. 

Ms Rambadt's tweet about Burnley being like a 'foreign country' that 'needs sorting'

Ms Rambadt’s tweet about Burnley being like a ‘foreign country’ that ‘needs sorting’ 

Hepple, who has posted in support of the EDL on Facebook and appeared in a photo with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, claimed responsibility for the stunt last night, writing: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight, which flew over the stadium just after players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter.

Lancashire Police today confirmed it was investigating Mr Hepple, from Colne, as his employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were investigating his conduct and would announce any action soon. 

It came as Solace Foot Health and Reflexology, which employs Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, condemned ‘abhorrently racist’ comments she had posted on social media and said they would ‘deal with the situation internally’.  

‘As we were coming out we heard some whispers that it was going to happen,’ he added. ‘The club tried to stop it. I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again.’

Manager Sean Dyche echoed his captain’s words, as did several other football figures, including BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. 

In addition to taking a knee before games, all Premier League players have worn the words Black Lives Matter on the back on their shirts and a logo on the sleeve to show support for the movement. 

BLM protests erupted worldwide following the death of George Floyd, 46, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on his neck for nine minutes in Minneapolis in the US on May 25. 

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism. 

A Burnley spokesman said: ‘Burnley Football Club strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner that flew over The Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.

‘We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.

‘The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind. 

‘We are fully behind the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.

‘We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.’  

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message 'White Lives Matter Burnley'

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’

Alan Elliott - pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates' Court - is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park

Alan Elliott – pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates’ Court – is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park 

Burnley FC Police - a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club - said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley FC Police – a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club – said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt. 

MailOnline columnist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘A plane flew over the Etihad stadium tonight with this banner saying ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’. So depressing.’ 

Pundit and former England footballer Lineker added: ‘I’m sure @BurnleyOfficial will condemn this s***housery.’

Rachel Riley commented: ‘Anyone fancy a crowdfunder to get these idiots a tattoo to mark their brave and clever stunt. I reckon ‘Man City 5 – Burnley 0′ would be perfect.’ 

Comedian Omid Djalli said: ‘Brilliant Ben Mee being on it ASAP. The Black Lives Matter movement is everyone against racism and discrimination towards all minorities. 

‘Burnley FC have apologised for an idiotic minority who want a race war. Well done the Premier League for keeping on highlighting injustice.

‘If someone is chartering a plane to fly a banner like that over a football match, it proves definitively that there are racists out there literally with more money than sense.’ 

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was 'disappointed' by the provocative message

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was ‘disappointed’ by the provocative message 

In response to the distasteful stunt, other Burnley fans have started a Go Fund Me page raising money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of the black teenager after he was killed in a racist attack in 1993. 

Sports commentator Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White Lives Matter – Burnley’. F***ing hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace.’

Players have been taking to their knees throughout the Premier League in a sign of support in the fight against inequality and injustice which was adopted by sports stars in 2016 after NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem.

Last night’s stunt comes after a plane towing a confederate flag flew over a NASCAR track and a noose was found in the garage of black driver Bubba Wallace at a race in Alabama on Sunday.

The shocking discovery came less than two weeks after he successfully pushed the auto racing series to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and facilities.

Nascar announced the discovery on Sunday and said it would do everything possible to find who was responsible and ‘eliminate them from the sport.’    

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili 

Sam Lee tweeted: 'There's a plane flying over the Etihad that says 'White lives matter - Burnley'. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace'

Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White lives matter – Burnley’. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace’

Burnley vow to hand LIFETIME bans to the fans responsible for flying ‘white lives matter’ banner


Burnley vow to hand LIFETIME bans to the fans responsible for flying ‘white lives matter’ banner over Man City’s stadium as chairman Mike Garlick says club will ‘root out these racists and make sure justice is done’

  • Burnley say they will ban fans over a banner that flew over the Etihad on Monday 
  • A plane flew the words ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ prior to the Man City game 
  • The club insist they are ‘opposed to any form of discrimination of any kind’
  • Chairman Mike Garlick said Burnley ‘deplores’ the incident and promised justice 

Burnley have insisted they will give out lifetime bans to any supporters found to be involved with the flying of a ‘white lives matter’ before their game at Manchester City on Monday night.

After Burnley and City players took a knee prior to kick off in support of the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the world and sport, the banner in question was spotted above the Etihad, reading: ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’.

It has caused outraged among the football community with many players and pundits slamming the stunt, and now Burnley have released a statement promising to come down hard on any fans who were responsible. 

Burnley have promised to issue lifetime bans to any supporters involved in flying a banner that read ‘White Lives Matter’ before their game with Manchester City on Monday

‘Burnley Football Club is opposed to any form of racism and discrimination of any kind,’ the club said.

‘As custodians of the club, we stand firmly behind the statement condemning the message flown over the Etihad Stadium on Monday night and are fully in support of the words of club captain Ben Mee, delivered after the match.

‘Black Lives Matter is a movement supported by all players in the Premier League and the league itself.

The club said it stands 'firmly behind' Black Lives Matter and opposes all forms of racism

The club said it stands ‘firmly behind’ Black Lives Matter and opposes all forms of racism

‘While we naturally consider that all lives matter, let us be clear that the Black Lives Matter movement aims to overcome years of racial inequality against the BAME community and promote a greater fairness for all.

‘We at Burnley therefore stand firmly behind it and oppose anything that may appear to undermine or challenge such a positive message.’

Burnley added that it has a ‘zero tolerance policy’ on any form of discrimination at Turf Moor and that anyone found guilty of such behaviour would be banned for life, with the same punishment handed to those found guilty of the banner.

‘The club operates a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination of any form at Turf Moor and is increasingly issuing lifetime bans for supporters that incite racism and hatred.

‘This punishment will also be meted out to those responsible for Monday’s regrettable incident.’

Chairman Mike Garlick insists the club 'deplores' the incident and will 'root out' the culprits

Chairman Mike Garlick insists the club ‘deplores’ the incident and will ‘root out’ the culprits

Club chief Mike Garlick admitted he ‘wasn’t proud to be Burnley chairman’ following the incident and said they would ‘root out these racists’. 

‘We will root out these racists and I am sure they will be dealt with in due course.

‘We will do whatever we can to make sure justice is done against these people.

‘Let’s be clear. The plane didn’t fly in our name. It has absolutely nothing to do with Burnley Football Club and we absolutely deplore it.

Captain Ben Mee said he was 'ashamed' as he slammed the behaviour of those responsible

Captain Ben Mee said he was ‘ashamed’ as he slammed the behaviour of those responsible

‘But we have to talk about it. We cannot and will not sweep it under the carpet.

‘I was at the game and I have been chairman/co-chairman for eight years. I have always been proud to be in that position, but I can tell you that I wasn’t proud to be Burnley chairman last night.’

Also condemning the banner was club captain Ben Mee, who said those involved ‘need to come into the 21st century’ and adding that he was ‘ashamed’, while manager Sean Dyche said it was ‘clearly unacceptable’. 

Police launch investigation into Burnley White Lives Matter fan


Police today launched an investigation into a Burnley football fan who chartered a plane and flew a White Lives Matter banner above the Etihad stadium as he faced being charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.    

Jake Hepple, who has posted in support of the EDL and been pictured with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, claimed responsibility for last night’s stunt and wrote on Facebook: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

Lancashire Police today confirmed it was investigating Mr Hepple, from Colne, as his employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were looking into his conduct and would announce any action soon. 

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight, which flew over the stadium just after players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Sources close to the police investigation told The Telegraph that those involved could be quizzed over a racially aggravated public order offence related to the message, rather than the flight itself.   

Scroll down for video.  

A plane carrying a banner reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ was flown over the Etihad stadium ahead of the team’s match with Manchester yesterday evening

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Mr Hepple's girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media

Mr Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media 

What could the banner organisers be charged with? 

Lancashire Police say they are investigating last nights incident to see if any criminal charges could be brought, but refused to give details. 

However, previous cases suggest there are several avenues if the authorities were to consider charges, including: 

Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 – A person is guilty of an offence if they ‘use threatening [or abusive] words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour’ or ‘displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening [or abusive].’

Air Navigation Order 2009 – This makes it an offence to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft. It is not clear if this happened in last night’s incident.   

Jake Hepple posted an image of the plane on Facebook yesterday and wrote: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!

‘It’s now apparently racist to say White Lives Matter, the day after three white people got murdered in a park in Reading, but all we’ve seen on the TV is Black Lives Matter after George Floyd got murdered. What a mad world we live in.’  

Other members of the Suicide Squad – a group of hooligan Burnley fans – are thought to have spent the past week crowdfunding for the banner and flyover. 

Last night’s stunt led to outrage and has been widely condemned, with Burnley captain Ben Mee saying he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’.

Speaking after the match, which his side lost 5-0, he noted that the Burnley players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned. 

The company that operated the plane, Air Ads, is based in Stockport and flies from Blackpool Airport. 

One of its directors, Alan Elliott, was fined £2,000 in 2017 for flying 400ft from Goodison Park after being paid by an Everton fan to display a sign emblazoned with ‘Thank you Mr Kenwright’ in support of the club chairman. 

Under the Air Navigation Order 2009, aircraft are not allowed to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft within a 600-yard radius of the highest obstacle. 

MailOnline has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority to ask if the same offence was committed last night. 

Air Ads was involved in a crash on July 18, 2010, when the pilot wrote off a plane by mistakenly revving up the engine while taxiing on the runway and slammed into a hangar. 

Chequered history of air banner firm who provided plane for ‘White Lives Matter’ stunt

The Cessna C-182 was chartered from Air Ads Ltd, which is based at Blackpool Airport. The small aircraft was spotted on flight tracking service FlightRadar24 leaving the seaside resort and flying over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, shortly after players and support staff had held a minute’s silence for Covid-19 victims and went down on one knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt

One pilot from Air Ads Ltd, Alan Elliott, from Bolton, was prosecuted in 2017 having flown a banner over Goodison Park, Everton.

The pilot was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,500 prosecution costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court after he flew within 400 feet of the stadium – endangering the public and his aircraft.

Mr Elliot had been paid £800 to fly the banner. Though he should not have been below 1,000ft in a congested area such as a city centre or within a radius of 600 yards of the highest obstacle.

The rules are designed to allow a small aircraft the chance to glide to safety if its engine fails.

Mr Elliott died on May 3, according to his family.

In July 2010 the company wrote off an aircraft which crashed into a hangar while refuelling in Compton Abbas Airfield, Dorset.

According to an air accident report by the Civil Aviation Authority, when the aircraft restarted, it lurched forward and crashed into the hangar before the pilot was able to react. 

The pilot, who was not named in an incident report, escaped uninjured. 

Air Ads Ltd has been involved in several other high-profile publicity stunts, including flying a banner over Burnley’s Turf Moor stadium reading ‘Go Clarets’ for a local newspaper and advertising a marriage proposal. 

Alan Elliott, who was involved in the Everton incident, died on May 3 this year, according to his family. His son, Alan Mark Elliott, is still listed as a director. MailOnline has contacted the company for comment. 

Bob Stinger, one of the pilots associated with Air Ads, denied being at the controls last night but declined to comment further. 

Burnley captain Ben Mee said he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’ of the stunt, and revealed that his players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned.

‘I am ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium,’ he said. ‘It is not what we are about. 

‘They have missed what we are trying to achieve. These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They don’t represent what we are about, the club is about, the players are about and the majority of fans are about.

‘I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t want to associate it with my club. I don’t want to see this in the game. 

‘It is not right. We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve.’ 

Mr Hepple’s employer, Paradigm Precision in Burnley, said today: ‘We are aware of the incident that took place and are currently investigating the conduct of our employee. Once we have completed our enquiries, we will release a full statement.’ 

Chief Supt Russ Procter, from Lancashire Police, said: ‘We are making enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and we will then be in a position to make an assessment as to whether any criminal offences have taken place.

‘We recognise that this banner will have caused offence to many people in Lancashire and beyond and we continue to liaise closely with our partners at both the club and in the local authority.’  

Mr Hepple with his partner, Megan Rambadt, who tweeted that her town was 'like a foreign country' before adding in a follow-up post, 'They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s'

Mr Hepple with his partner, Megan Rambadt, who tweeted that her town was ‘like a foreign country’ before adding in a follow-up post, ‘They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s’

Mr Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done

Mr Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done 

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

Last night's aerial display reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League 

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

Ben Mee, who was born is Sale, said Burnley tried to halt the plans once they became aware of what was to follow.

Fan behind plane posted racist ‘P***’ messages online while bosses suspend his girlfriend from beauty job after racist tweets

The Burnley fan who chartered a plane and flew a White Lives Matter banner above the Etihad stadium shared a series of racist slurs on social media, it emerged today, as his girlfriend was suspended from her beauty job for her own bigoted posts. 

Jake Hepple ranted about ‘P***s’ while his partner, Megan Rambadt, tweeted that her town was ‘like a foreign country’ before adding in a follow-up post, ‘They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin b******s’. 

Ms Rambadt's tweet about Burnley being like a 'foreign country' that 'needs sorting'

Ms Rambadt’s tweet about Burnley being like a ‘foreign country’ that ‘needs sorting’ 

Hepple, who has posted in support of the EDL on Facebook and appeared in a photo with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, claimed responsibility for the stunt last night, writing: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight, which flew over the stadium just after players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter.

Lancashire Police today confirmed it was investigating Mr Hepple, from Colne, as his employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were investigating his conduct and would announce any action soon. 

It came as Solace Foot Health and Reflexology, which employs Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, condemned ‘abhorrently racist’ comments she had posted on social media and said they would ‘deal with the situation internally’.  

‘As we were coming out we heard some whispers that it was going to happen,’ he added. ‘The club tried to stop it. I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again.’

Manager Sean Dyche echoed his captain’s words, as did several other football figures, including BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. 

In addition to taking a knee before games, all Premier League players have worn the words Black Lives Matter on the back on their shirts and a logo on the sleeve to show support for the movement. 

BLM protests erupted worldwide following the death of George Floyd, 46, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on his neck for nine minutes in Minneapolis in the US on May 25. 

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism. 

A Burnley spokesman said: ‘Burnley Football Club strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner that flew over The Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.

‘We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.

‘The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind. 

‘We are fully behind the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.

‘We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.’  

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message 'White Lives Matter Burnley'

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’

Alan Elliott - pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates' Court - is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park

Alan Elliott – pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates’ Court – is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park 

Burnley FC Police - a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club - said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley FC Police – a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club – said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt. 

MailOnline columnist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘A plane flew over the Etihad stadium tonight with this banner saying ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’. So depressing.’ 

Pundit and former England footballer Lineker added: ‘I’m sure @BurnleyOfficial will condemn this s***housery.’

Rachel Riley commented: ‘Anyone fancy a crowdfunder to get these idiots a tattoo to mark their brave and clever stunt. I reckon ‘Man City 5 – Burnley 0′ would be perfect.’ 

Comedian Omid Djalli said: ‘Brilliant Ben Mee being on it ASAP. The Black Lives Matter movement is everyone against racism and discrimination towards all minorities. 

‘Burnley FC have apologised for an idiotic minority who want a race war. Well done the Premier League for keeping on highlighting injustice.

‘If someone is chartering a plane to fly a banner like that over a football match, it proves definitively that there are racists out there literally with more money than sense.’ 

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was 'disappointed' by the provocative message

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was ‘disappointed’ by the provocative message 

In response to the distasteful stunt, other Burnley fans have started a Go Fund Me page raising money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of the black teenager after he was killed in a racist attack in 1993. 

Sports commentator Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White Lives Matter – Burnley’. F***ing hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace.’

Players have been taking to their knees throughout the Premier League in a sign of support in the fight against inequality and injustice which was adopted by sports stars in 2016 after NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem.

Last night’s stunt comes after a plane towing a confederate flag flew over a NASCAR track and a noose was found in the garage of black driver Bubba Wallace at a race in Alabama on Sunday.

The shocking discovery came less than two weeks after he successfully pushed the auto racing series to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and facilities.

Nascar announced the discovery on Sunday and said it would do everything possible to find who was responsible and ‘eliminate them from the sport.’    

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili 

Sam Lee tweeted: 'There's a plane flying over the Etihad that says 'White lives matter - Burnley'. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace'

Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White lives matter – Burnley’. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace’

Police launch investigation into Burnley White Lives Matter fan


Police today launched an investigation into a Burnley football fan who chartered a plane and flew a White Lives Matter banner above the Etihad stadium as he faced being charged with a racially-aggravated public order offence.    

Jake Hepple, who has posted in support of the EDL and been pictured with its former leader, Tommy Robinson, claimed responsibility for last night’s stunt and wrote on Facebook: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’

Lancashire Police today confirmed it was investigating Mr Hepple, from Colne, as his employer, an engineering company in Burnley called Paradigm Precision, said they were investigating his conduct and would announce any action soon. 

The Suicide Squad, a group of far-right Burnley fans, are believed to have crowdfunded the flight, which flew over the stadium just after players had taken the knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Sources close to the police investigation told The Telegraph that those involved could be quizzed over a racially-aggravated public order offence related to the message, rather than the flight itself.   

Scroll down for video.  

A plane carrying a banner reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ was flown over the Etihad stadium ahead of the team’s match with Manchester yesterday evening

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Jake Hepple (pictured left with English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson) has claimed responsibility for the stunt

Mr Hepple's girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media

Mr Hepple’s girlfriend, Megan Rambadt, was today suspended by her employer after she posted racist comments on social media 

Jake Hepple posted an image of the plane on Facebook yesterday and wrote: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!

‘It’s now apparently racist to say White Lives Matter, the day after three white people got murdered in a park in Reading, but all we’ve seen on the TV is Black Lives Matter after George Floyd got murdered. What a mad world we live in.’  

Other members of the Suicide Squad – a group of hooligan Burnley fans – are thought to have spent the past week crowdfunding for the banner and flyover. 

Chequered history of air banner firm who provided plane for ‘White Lives Matter’ stunt

The Cessna C-182 was chartered from Air Ads Ltd, which is based at Blackpool Airport. The small aircraft was spotted on flight tracking service FlightRadar24 leaving the seaside resort and flying over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, shortly after players and support staff had held a minute’s silence for Covid-19 victims and went down on one knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt

Alan Elliott is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt

One pilot from Air Ads Ltd, Alan Elliott, from Bolton, was prosecuted in 2017 having flown a banner over Goodison Park, Everton.

The pilot was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,500 prosecution costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court after he flew within 400 feet of the stadium – endangering the public and his aircraft.

Mr Elliot had been paid £800 to fly the banner. Though he should not have been below 1,000ft in a congested area such as a city centre or within a radius of 600 yards of the highest obstacle.

The rules are designed to allow a small aircraft the chance to glide to safety if its engine fails.

Mr Elliott died on May 3, according to his family.

In July 2010 the company wrote off an aircraft which crashed into a hangar while refuelling in Compton Abbas Airfield, Dorset.

According to an air accident report by the Civil Aviation Authority, when the aircraft restarted, it lurched forward and crashed into the hangar before the pilot was able to react. 

Last night’s stunt led to outrage and has been widely condemned, with Burnley captain Ben Mee saying he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’.

Speaking after the match, which his side lost 5-0, he noted that the Burnley players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned. 

The company that operated the plane, Air Ads, is based in Stockport and flies from Blackpool Airport. 

One of its directors, Alan Elliott, was fined £2,000 in 2017 for flying 400ft from Goodison Park after being paid by an Everton fan to display a sign emblazoned with ‘Thank you Mr Kenwright’ in support of the club chairman. 

Under the Air Navigation Order 2009, aircraft are not allowed to fly over a congested area at a height lower than 1,000ft within a 600-yard radius of the highest obstacle. 

MailOnline has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority to ask if the same offence was committed last night. 

Air Ads was involved in a crash on July 18, 2010, when the pilot wrote off a plane by mistakenly revving up the engine while taxiing on the runway and slammed into a hangar. The pilot, who was not named in an incident report, escaped uninjured. 

Air Ads Ltd has been involved in several other high-profile publicity stunts, including flying a banner over Burnley’s Turf Moor stadium reading ‘Go Clarets’ for a local newspaper and advertising a marriage proposal. 

Alan Elliott, who was involved in the Everton incident, died on May 3 this year, according to his family. His son, Alan Mark Elliott, is still listed as a director. MailOnline has contacted the company for comment. 

Bob Stinger, one of the pilots associated with Air Ads, denied being at the controls last night but declined to comment further. 

Burnley captain Ben Mee said he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’ of the stunt, and revealed that his players had heard ‘whispers’ that something may have been planned.

‘I am ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium,’ he said. ‘It is not what we are about. 

‘They have missed what we are trying to achieve. These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They don’t represent what we are about, the club is about, the players are about and the majority of fans are about.

‘I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t want to associate it with my club. I don’t want to see this in the game. 

‘It is not right. We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve.’ 

Mr Hepple’s employer, Paradigm Precision in Burnley, said today: ‘We are aware of the incident that took place and are currently investigating the conduct of our employee. Once we have completed our enquiries, we will release a full statement.’ 

Chief Supt Russ Procter, from Lancashire Police, said: ‘We are making enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and we will then be in a position to make an assessment as to whether any criminal offences have taken place.

‘We recognise that this banner will have caused offence to many people in Lancashire and beyond and we continue to liaise closely with our partners at both the club and in the local authority.’ 

Jake Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done

Jake Hepple (pictured) said in a statement to Facebook that he did not want to apologise for what he had done 

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

The private plane crossed the sky above the stadium just moments after both Burnley and Manchester players took a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement

Last night's aerial display reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League

In 2010, Hepple posted this flag showing support for the far-right English Defence League 

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

In 2013, the EDL supporter was pictured on Facebook holding a finger to his lip to mimic a moustache

Ben Mee, who was born is Sale, said Burnley tried to halt the plans once they became aware of what was to follow.

‘As we were coming out we heard some whispers that it was going to happen,’ he added. ‘The club tried to stop it. I’ve heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn’t happen again.’

Manager Sean Dyche echoed his captain’s words, as did several other football figures, including BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. 

In addition to taking a knee before games, all Premier League players have worn the words Black Lives Matter on the back on their shirts and a logo on the sleeve to show support for the movement. 

BLM protests erupted worldwide following the death of George Floyd, 46, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on his neck for nine minutes in Minneapolis in the US on May 25. 

Last night’s aerial display reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ appeared to mock the movement, which is fighting against racism.  

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Jake Hepple, a Burnley local, has claimed responsibility for the stunt sharing a video of the plane to his Facebook along with a refusal to apologise

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message 'White Lives Matter Burnley'

Mr Hepple shared photos and a video to Facebook of the plane carrying the message ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’

Alan Elliott - pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates' Court - is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night's stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park

Alan Elliott – pictured left outside Liverpool Magistrates’ Court – is listed as a director of Air Ads Ltd, which provided the plane for last night’s stunt. He was prosecuted pin 2017 for flying a plane too low over Goodison Park 

Burnley FC Police - a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club - said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

Burnley FC Police – a division of Lancashire Police that deals with the football club – said they were aware who was involved in the incident, as were Burnley FC

A Burnley spokesman said: ‘Burnley Football Club strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner that flew over The Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.

‘We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.

‘The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind. 

‘We are fully behind the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.

‘We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.’ 

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Burnley manager Sean Dyche and staff take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium yesterday

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City takes a knee in support of Black Lives Matter

Referee Andre Marriner kneels in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium on June 22, 2020

Referee Andre Marriner (right) and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City (left) kneels in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before last night’s match 

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was 'disappointed' by the provocative message

Former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair said he was ‘disappointed’ by the provocative message 

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt. 

MailOnline columnist Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘A plane flew over the Etihad stadium tonight with this banner saying ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’. So depressing.’ 

Pundit and former England footballer Lineker added: ‘I’m sure @BurnleyOfficial will condemn this s***housery.’

Rachel Riley commented: ‘Anyone fancy a crowdfunder to get these idiots a tattoo to mark their brave and clever stunt. I reckon ‘Man City 5 – Burnley 0′ would be perfect.’ 

Comedian Omid Djalli said: ‘Brilliant Ben Mee being on it ASAP. The Black Lives Matter movement is everyone against racism and discrimination towards all minorities. 

‘Burnley FC have apologised for an idiotic minority who want a race war. Well done the Premier League for keeping on highlighting injustice.

‘If someone is chartering a plane to fly a banner like that over a football match, it proves definitively that there are racists out there literally with more money than sense.’ 

In response to the distasteful stunt, other Burnley fans have started a Go Fund Me page raising money for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of the black teenager after he was killed in a racist attack in 1993.  

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili

Shocked viewers took to social media to express their anger at the stunt, including the comedian Omid Djalili 

Sports commentator Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White Lives Matter – Burnley’. F***ing hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace.’

Players have been taking to their knees throughout the Premier League in a sign of support in the fight against inequality and injustice which was adopted by sports stars in 2016 after NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem.

Last night’s stunt comes after a plane towing a confederate flag flew over a NASCAR track and a noose was found in the garage of black driver Bubba Wallace at a race in Alabama on Sunday.

The shocking discovery came less than two weeks after he successfully pushed the auto racing series to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and facilities.

Nascar announced the discovery on Sunday and said it would do everything possible to find who was responsible and ‘eliminate them from the sport.’ 

Former Premier League striker Darren Bent tweeted in response to the plane's message

Former Premier League striker Darren Bent tweeted in response to the plane’s message

Sam Lee tweeted: 'There's a plane flying over the Etihad that says 'White lives matter - Burnley'. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace'

Sam Lee tweeted: ‘There’s a plane flying over the Etihad that says ‘White lives matter – Burnley’. F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace’

Norwich and Southampton players take a knee before kick-off in support of Black Lives Matter


Premier League stars continue to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement as Norwich and Southampton players kneel before kick off as football united against racism

  • Norwich and Southampton players took a knee ahead of kick-off on Friday  
  • The action was taken in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement 
  • Clubs have united against racism following the Premier League’s return

Norwich and Southampton became the latest Premier League clubs to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement after every player, member of staff and official took the knee.

This is the third occasion players have united against racism since the top-flight returned after Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Arsenal set the example on Wednesday.

Referee Kevin Friend joined the players by kneeling for around 10 seconds ahead of kick-off on Friday evening.

Norwich and Southampton became the latest clubs to show support for the Black Lives Matter

Referee Kevin Friend joined the players by kneeling for around 10 seconds ahead of kick-off

Referee Kevin Friend joined the players by kneeling for around 10 seconds ahead of kick-off

This is the third occasion that clubs have united against racism since the top-flight returned

This is the third occasion that clubs have united against racism since the top-flight returned

The words ‘Black Lives Matter’ can be seen on the back of each shirt in replace of the usual player names, a gesture which every Premier League club will be undertaking for the remaining fixtures this season. 

Players have been taking the knee following the killing of George Floyd in the United States which has sparked worldwide anti-racism protests.

Players have also been warming up in Black Lives Matter t-shirts ahead of matches.

Aston Villa and Sheffield United became the first Premier League clubs to take the action

Aston Villa and Sheffield United became the first Premier League clubs to take the action 

Villa’s home game with the Blades was the first match to see players kneel before kick-off and it was revealed Sheffield striker David McGoldrick and his captain proposed the idea to opposition goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

City and Arsenal followed suit in the later game.  

England striker Raheem Sterling was one of the players to repeat the action at the Etihad.

‘I see it as a massive step for the Premier League to allow something to happen,’ he said afterwards. 

‘It shows we’re going in the right direction. Little by little we’re seeing change, and I think that’s what black players and most of the rest of the country are hoping for.’ 

Manchester City and Arsenal repeated the gesture in Wednesday's second league fixture

Manchester City and Arsenal repeated the gesture in Wednesday’s second league fixture