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Martin Tyler slammed for saying the Hillsborough disaster was “hooligan related”

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Martin Tyler slammed for saying the Hillsborough disaster was “hooligan related”

Sky Sports lead commentator Martin Tyler has been slammed after appearing to reference the Hillsborough disaster as a “hooligan related issue”. 

Tyler was speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today and was heard linking Hillsborough and hooliganism. 

He was asked about the first Premier League match shown on Sky Sports, which he was the commentator for. 

Tyler said: “It was very pioneering. We didn't know quite what the league - the change in structure of the league - how that would work.

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“We certainly didn't know how satellite television - as it was called in those days - would work. But it was a great adventure and 3,000 live matches later - not all commentated by me thankfully for the public - it does seem it worked.” 

Tyler then added: “You've got to remember football was in a bit of a crisis at that time. We weren't that long after Hillsborough and other hooligan related issues as well, so it was very much a difficult time for the game generally.” 

The 76-year-old’s comments were instantly slammed by many including politicians and journalists, whilst the BBC faced criticism for not challenging Tyler’s comments during the conversation. 

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Labour MP, Paula Barker said on Twitter: “Disgusting comments from Martin Tyler this morning on 

@BBCr4today who said "Hillsborough and OTHER hooligan related incidents" Nobody challenged him!! How can he be allowed to have a career in sports journalism & perpetuate these lies.” 

Fellow Labour MP Steve Rotheram said: “Exceptionally crass comments from Martin Tyler on @BBCr4today - a man who should know much better. Even now, people whose careers are built on football still spread these foul smears. I hope there'll be an apology sharpish.” 

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Rotheram added: “Astonishing too, that his remarks go unchallenged. But this happens far too often. It isn't the first time and sadly won't be the last.

“Tyler himself should know better but why do interviewers never challenge these smears that have been so resoundingly disproven time and again?” 

Abigail Nicholson, a senior reporter for the Liverpool Echo wrote: “Martin Tyler’s words about Hillsborough on @BBCRadio4 are unforgivable and disgusting. There was absolutely no attempt to correct him. After decades of fighting disinformation the families of the 97 and thousands more who are still battling today deserve more. Apology please @BBC.” 

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The BBC then tweeted that Tyler had apologised for his comments. They said: “We regret that we did not robustly challenge Martin Tyler on a comment which appeared to link Hillsborough & hooliganism. Martin has since apologised for the comment & clarified that these were separate examples & he did not intend to conflate the two.” 

The Hillsborough disaster happened in April of 1989, where 97 Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed after a human crush ahead of the FA Cup semi final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. 

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Ever since that incident, Liverpool fans campaigned for years in order to find the truth after supporters were initially blamed as the cause of the tragedy. They had to wait until April of 2016, 25 years later, for an inquest to conclude that fans played no part in the deaths. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Martin Tyler, Liverpool, Premier League

Marcus Chan
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