'It gets on my tits'

Alan Davies sparks Hillsborough storm

Alan Davies is facing a storm of protest – including death threats – after criticising Liverpool FC's insistence that they never play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Speaking on his regular football podcast, the QI regular took issue with the club’s decision not to play on April 15 in tribute to the 96 fans who died on that date in 1989 – because it has a knock-on effect on fixtures meaning Chelsea must play two crunch matches in three days.

He complained: ‘Liverpool and the 15th - that gets on my tits, that shit. What are you talking about "We won’t play on the day"? Why can’t they?’

Fellow comic Ian Stone, another regular on The Tuesday Club podcast, attempted to argue with Arsenal fan Davies by saying: ‘Because it’s too sad a memory.’

However, the Jonathan Creek star replied: ' My mum died on August 22. I don’t stay in all day on August 22. Do they play on the date of the Heysel Stadium disaster? How many dates do they not play on?

'Do Man United play on the date of Munich? Do Rangers play on the date when all their fans died in that disaster whatever year that was - 1971?'

He also criticised Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, adding: 'Every interview he’s given this season he looks like he wants to headbutt the interviewer. This tight-mouthed, furious, frowning, leaning forward, bitter Glaswegian ranting, "Liverpool FC do not play on April 15th".'

His comments prompted a flurry of threats on Twitter, including Keiran Humphries, who tweeted: ‘Go kill yourself you horrible cunt, disrespecting people who lost their lives, come to Liverpool so you get what you deserve

And Andrew Margrie said: ‘Stay out of Liverpool you cunt Davies. God I'd love to be there when you get what you deserve. Sleep with one eye open you cunt.’

Davies took to Twitter himself to apologise for being ‘insensitive’ and said he had made a donation to the Justice For 96 campaign set up in memory of the fans who lost their lives.

He said: 'I'm getting tweets from Liverpool fans who have been given the impression that I was disrespectful to those who lost their lives on 15/4/89.

'Many disagree but I feel that the Liverpool v Everton semi-final could be played on Apr 15. Apologies to those upset by that suggestion.

'I said the Hillsborough disaster was the worst event in modern peacetime history. I was on a terrace listening to a radio as it happened.’

He also insisted: ‘I have not apologised for "PR purposes". I took the wrong tone. It's an unscripted podcast.’

Hillsborough is a hugely sensitive topic for the people of Liverpool. The Sun newspaper is still reviled in the city for printing untrue claims that Liverpool fans were to blame for the tragedy, and in 2004 Boris Johnson had to visit the city to apologise after making similar slurs in a newspaper article which said Liverpudlians 'wallow… in their victim status'.

Published: 10 Apr 2012

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