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Hillsborough: Martin Tyler to meet Liverpool after being accused of linking tragedy with hooliganism

‘Devastated’ Martin Tyler will meet with Liverpool officials at Anfield after he was accused of linking the Hillsborough tragedy with hooliganism

  • Martin Tyler made what he feels was a clumsy mistake in BBC radio interview 
  • The 76-year-old appeared to link the Hillsborough tragedy with hooliganism
  • Inquests concluded those who died in the 1989 disaster were unlawfully killed 
  • Following a backlash Tyler said there ‘is no connection’ between the tragedy and hooliganism

Martin Tyler has accepted Liverpool‘s invite and will head to Anfield for meetings with club officials at which he will ‘show his continued support’ after his remarks over the Hillsborough disaster triggered criticism and a subsequent apology. 

The veteran Sky Sports broadcaster was said to be ‘absolutely devastated’ when he made what he feels was a clumsy mistake when being interviewed on BBC Radio Four to mark the 30th anniversary of the Premier League

Tyler told the Today programme that at the time of the competition’s launch in 1992 ‘football was in a bit of a crisis’, adding: ‘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 later apologised, given he appeared to be linking the tragedy, in which 97 Liverpool supporters lost their lives, with hooliganism. 

In April 2016 inquests concluded that those who died in the 1989 disaster were unlawfully killed, with jurors agreeing that fans played no part in the deaths. Other factors, such as a delayed response by the ambulance service, police failures and stadium design were instead highlighted. 

Following a backlash Tyler, who has commentated on a number of Hillsborough anniversary matches, said that there ‘is no connection’ between the tragedy and hooliganism. 

Martin Tyler has accepted Liverpool's invite and will head to Anfield for meetings with club officials

Martin Tyler has accepted Liverpool’s invite and will head to Anfield for meetings with club officials

His remarks over the Hillsborough disaster triggered criticism and a subsequent apology

His remarks over the Hillsborough disaster triggered criticism and a subsequent apology

The Sky Sports broadcaster will 'show his continued support' when he meets Anfield chiefs

The Sky Sports broadcaster will ‘show his continued support’ when he meets Anfield chiefs

‘I know that, and I was not implying that there was,’ he added. ‘I apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding.’ Liverpool officials were also quick to respond, inviting Tyler and the BBC to Anfield to ensure clear and accurate commentary going forward. 

A Sky Sports spokesperson said: ‘Martin will be going to Anfield in the near future to meet with officials, mark his respect and show his continued support for the club. 

‘He will also continue to show his support for the families of the victims and survivors of Hillsborough. ‘

The 76-year-old later apologised, given he appeared to be linking the tragedy, in which 97 Liverpool supporters lost their lives, with hooliganism

The 76-year-old later apologised, given he appeared to be linking the tragedy, in which 97 Liverpool supporters lost their lives, with hooliganism

Martin apologised for any misunderstanding caused by his comments last week. He has always been absolutely clear that fan behaviour did not in any way contribute to the terrible events at Hillsborough.’ 

The BBC have been contacted for comment. At the time, a spokesperson said: ‘We regret that we did not robustly challenge Martin Tyler on a comment which appeared to link Hillsborough and hooliganism. 

Martin has since apologised for the comment & clarified that these were separate examples and he did not intend to conflate the two.’

In April 2016 inquests concluded that those who died in the 1989 disaster were unlawfully killed

 In April 2016 inquests concluded that those who died in the 1989 disaster were unlawfully killed

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