Boris Johnson sparks Grimsby Town football club backlash

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Boris Johnson was pictured wearing the football club hat as he left the Covid Inquiry on Thursday.

One fan, John Dale, a resident of the Lincolnshire town, started a petition demanding Mr Johnson stop wearing the hat.

Mr Dale accused the former prime minister, 59, of bringing Grimsby into “disrepute” and using the town “to add lustre and glamour to his own shattered life”.

It is thought that the hat was gifted to the former PM by Great Grimsby’s Tory MP, Lia Nici, who has been a fierce ally.

When Mr Johnson resigned, Ms Nici declared that Johnson had “done more for Grimsby in generations, if ever”.

Mr Dale’s petition, titled ‘Ban Boris Johnson from wearing Grimsby Town FC hat and shaming a community,’ has recieved 686 signatures by Saturday morning.

The petition description read: “Johnson has no formal connection to the club. He has never lived in Grimsby.

“He is using the town to add lustre and glamour to his own shattered life. He is also bringing Grimsby into serious disrepute.

“This petition asks that Johnson stops wearing the hat and adopts a hat more suited to his lowly status, eg MUFC [Manchester United].”

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Paul B, a fan who signed the petition, wrote: “Grimsby Town’s situation is bad enough without that clown making it worse.”

Grimsby Town are currently struggling near the bottom of League Two.

However, several fans disagreed with Mr Dale’s petition, saying the sight of the wintry hat was a boost for the club.

Speaking to BBC Radio Humberside in the club shop, Steven Douglas said he would not be signing the petition, saying: “Any advertisement for Grimsby Town is good advertisement.

“All people will do is look at the hat. They will say, ‘why has he got GTFC on it?’ Brilliant. That’s more advertisement for the town.”

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Another fan, Alistair Smith agreed, adding Mr Johnson’s choice of winter hat was “absolutely superb”.

Mr Johnson was previously photographed in 2020 wearing the Grimsby hat on holiday in the Scottish Highlands, and again during an early-morning jog with his dog, Dilyn, near Downing Street.

When Mr Johnson was asked about it by Grimsby Live in 2022, he said: “It’s what I grab when I run out the house. There’s no particular science to it.”

This week, Mr Johnson faced hours of questioning over his handling of the pandemic.

On Thursday, he insisted he did not pursue a “let it rip” strategy during the coronavirus pandemic.

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