York City’s Community stadium is more than just a sports venue, according to local councillor Nigel Ayre: ”It’s not just a football stadium but a place for health, leisure and social activities."
And, it turns out, it’s also a place to remember a notorious figure from Liverpool who gained UK-wide notoriety as a self-obsessed 'bogeyman' who preyed on young men in gyms.
Twitter user Joseph Gibbons was the first to spot the face of Akinwale Arobieke hidden among other local celebrities in a mural at York City’s new ground.
He wrote: “Alright lads, own up. Who submitted a photo of Purple Aki for inclusion in the community montage at York's new stadium?
He added: “Even more amusing is the fact that now everybody has to walk past his face when they enter the gym. This is a man who was once banned, by law, from touching other peoples muscles."
Arobieke became known to Merseyside gym-goers in the early 2000s for "approaching younger males and striking up conversations about weight training, before touching and measuring their muscles, and then inviting them to squat his body weight”.
Arobieke admitted his bizarre action had made him "infamous, notorious, everything from a bogeyman to whatever”.
In court, DC Andrew Rowlings claimed that Arobieke "became sexually aroused while forcing terrified young men to perform 'inverted piggybacks' – ordering them to squat so he could lean over their backs with his face by their buttocks and his genitalia on their necks, while squeezing their quad muscles"
Deputy District Judge Aled Jones imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order on Lancashire-born Arobieke when he was released from jail in 2006.
Under the terms of the order Arobieke is banned from touching, feeling or measuring anybody’s muscles or asking people to do squat exercises in public. The ban was lifted 10 years later.
The 6ft 5in gym enthusiast later apologised for his actions, saying sessions with a psychiatrist had given him a “better understanding of the other person”.
He was the subject of a 2016 BBC Three documentary called The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki, which resulted in him making an allegation to Merseyside Police that the BBC had “demonised him” and incited racial hatred.
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