Former Scotland striker David Goodwillie has left Northern Premier League club Radcliffe after they admitted to making “a significant misstep” in signing him.

Goodwillie, who was ruled by a judge at a civil court case in 2017 to have raped a woman, turned out for Radcliffe against Belper Town on Tuesday night.

The club had made no announcement of his signing, and did not list the ex-Blackburn forward as one of two changes to their starting line-up on Twitter.

But Goodwillie’s name appearing on the team sheet was met with an angry response on social media.

Goodwillie, 33, scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory, but Radcliffe have now confirmed he will not play for them again.

“We can confirm that David Goodwillie has left the club,” read a statement.

“As a club we have always been about second chances and have been a part of many players and staff members rehabilitation along that journey, we’ve always given people a chance to improve their life and found support in this endeavour.

“When the club were presented with David Goodwillie that same logic was applied, but in this case it’s clear that was a significant misstep and our due diligence should have been of a much higher standard.

“We can vouch for all the people at the club involved in this signing did so out of the desire to do a good thing for an individual with an admittedly tainted past as we have done so successfully before, but this was a bridge too far.

“This move came about very quickly, with clearance only granted extremely late leaving us in a position where our media volunteers were unable to release details prior to team sheets being produced – while regrettable this was also unavoidable.”

Scottish side Raith sparked an outcry when they signed Goodwillie in February last year and he was released from his contract without playing a match.