Controversial footballer David Goodwillie has signed for Radcliffe FC and scored a hat-trick on his debut on Tuesday night.

The 33-year-old, who was ruled by a judge in a civil case in 2017 to have raped a woman, netted three times in a 4-2 home win over Belper Town FC.

Goodwillie, a former Premier League striker with Blackburn Rovers, has three Scotland caps.

Sky Sports News said it has been told he has been given a short-term contract by Radcliffe, who play in the seventh tier of English football, the Northern Premier League.

His signing has not been announced by Radcliffe with his introduction into the side confirmed once the teamsheet was released ahead of kick-off.

Some social media users registered their disgust with Radcliffe after spotting his name in the line-up.

The club has apologised about the signing, this morning, Wednesday.

READ > Radcliffe FC announce departure of controversial player day after scoring hat-trick

In January last year, Scottish side Raith Rovers came under fire for signing Goodwillie from Clyde.

Several prominent supporters, directors and sponsors, including high-profile author Val McDermid, withdrew their backing of the club as a result.

Days after the signing Raith said it had made a mistake and apologised.

He was loaned back to Clyde in March.

But soon after he was banned from the club's Broadwood Stadium by North Lanarkshire Council, which rented the site to Clyde up until last year.

He was released by Raith in September.