Some Liverpool fans stated that the shirt resembled the club’s kit and saw the number 96 as a reference to the number of victims killed in the 1989 disaster. The red shirt also featured the phrase “what goes around comes back around”, which was seen as an inappropriate and insensitive reference.
In response to the comments Topman removed the shirt from sale and a spokesperson issued the following statement: “Topman apologises unreservedly for any offence caused by this T-shirt,” a company spokesperson said. “The design was inspired by a Bob Marley track with the number referring to the year of re-release. The garment has been removed from sale online and in stores.”
Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, was among those who had been calling for the shirt to be removed from sale.
Not everyone was convinced by Topman’s statement that the shirt was intended to be a homage to Marley, as the wording is slightly different to the Marley lyric “what goes around comes around” and some have questioned why the shirt would reference the date of a the re-release rather than the original.