TV presenter Eamonn Holmes is facing a storm of criticism after drawing comparisons between bottles being thrown at the Manchester United bus last night and the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
Kick-off in the game between West Ham and Manchester United was delayed after a number of fans attacked the United bus as it neared Upton Park.
Discussing it this morning on Sky News, Holmes drew comparison between last night’s incident and the disaster where 96 people died due to overcrowding.
“This is going back to the 70s and to the 80s,” he said. “The type of thing you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough, for instance.”
Unsurprisingly, the comments drew a swift reaction from viewers.
Bottles get thrown at a bus - compare it to Hillsborough. Idiotic on every conceivable level. https://t.co/TBQkoakD9l— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarrett) May 11, 2016
Yes Eamonn Holmes, people throwing bottles at a bus is *just* like the Hillsborough disaster where 96 people died. Get in the sea you fool.— Mark Jones (@TweetsbyJonesy) May 11, 2016
@TonyBarretTimes On top of 27yrs of campaigning, if he'd have bothered to watch 5mins of the Hillsborough doc, he'd realise how wrong he was— Paul Alexander (@mulleralexander) May 11, 2016
British MP Maria Eagle, a Liverpool native, offered to explain Hillsborough to the Sky News host.
“I’m happy to talk to him (Mr Holmes) and take him through what happened at Hillsborough,” she told the Liverpool Echo.
“I spend a lot of my time counter-acting the myths put out by South Yorkshire Police to evade their failures.
“I’m amazed somebody who ought to be aware of the details of current news should be so ignorant about Hillsborough."
Holmes then suggested it was other people at fault for trying to twist his comments before apologising “if anyone concluded anything different”.
Just being made aware of someone trying to use me to stir up trouble re The Hillsborough disaster . How low , how disgusting.— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) May 11, 2016
“Just being made aware of someone trying to use me to stir up trouble re The Hillsborough disaster . How low , how disgusting,” Holmes wrote on Twitter.
“The Hillsborough families have suffered enough without distasteful sniping like this. For the record there is no comparison between events last night at West Ham and Hillsborough.
“On the programme I was trying to talk about images we never ever want to see again. If anyone concluded anything different my humblest and most honest apologies.
“I am a huge supporter of The Hillsborough struggle for justice. Last night's events do not remotely register in comparison.”
A few minutes later, he added a second apology.
I am an honest & decent football supporter &man & would never seek to create such an offence. Those who are trying to do so r very wrong.— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) May 11, 2016
“I am an honest and decent football supporter and man and would never seek to create such an offence. Those who are trying to do so are very wrong.
“Obviously there is no comparison between Hillsborough & the scenes at W Ham last night......I apologise unreservedly if anyone thought I was making that connection.”