Specsavers ends sponsorship deal over Hillsborough row

The column The Big Eye appears in the Lynn News The column The Big Eye appears in the Lynn News

Related Stories

A company has withdrawn its sponsorship of a newspaper column after it likened Hillsborough mourners to a "partisan menace".

The column in the Lynn News in Norfolk said a memorial event to commemorate the 96 deaths was used by many as "an excuse for more rabble-rousing".

Opticians Specsavers said it had decided to cancel its "longstanding" sponsorship of The Big Eye column.

The Lynn News apologised "profusely" for any offence caused.

Liverpool Locals and Liverpool International Greats line up before the Celebration of The 96 Charity Match at Anfield, Liverpool A football match was organised by the Hillsborough Family Support Group at the weekend to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy

The Big Eye column was headlined "We endure a Hillsborough on our roads every 18 days" and talked about the mourners' "territorial attitudes".

It added that the 25th anniversary memorial service gave people "another chance to display their tribal allegiances".

The column compared the 1989 tragedy to people killed in car crashes, with the comment: "There's no public hand-wringing for the UK's traffic accident victims."

The article has attracted criticism on Twitter and in the Liverpool Echo.

A Specsavers spokesman said: "Specsavers in Kings Lynn has withdrawn its sponsorship of The Big Eye column in the Lynn News with immediate effect.

Hillsborough tributes at Anfield Thousands of flowers, wreaths and tributes left on Liverpool's Anfield stadium pitch in memory of the 96 soccer fans who died at Hillsborough

"During its sponsorship of the column the store had no involvement in its content and does not endorse any of the views expressed within it.

"We found out about the content of the latest The Big Eye column via Twitter and immediately acted to remove our association with it."

In a statement, the Lynn News' editor Nick Woodhead said: "The Lynn News of Tuesday, April 22, included a comment article by weekly columnist The Big Eye entitled 'We endure a Hillsborough on our roads every 18 days'.

"While the piece sought to draw attention to the numbers of road traffic tragedies, the reference to the Hillsborough memorial and the tone of the article were wholly inappropriate and running it was ill-advised on my part.

"The columnist and this newspaper in no way intended to offend anyone involved in Hillsborough or affected by the tragedy and we would like to apologise profusely for any offence caused."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Norfolk

Weather

Norwich

18 °C 12 °C

Features

  • Baby being handed overFraught world

    The legal confusion over UK surrogate births


  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade


  • Welsh flagDragon's den

    Why Wales will make its own mind up on independence


  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?


  • Child injured by what activists say were two air strikes in the north-eastern Damascus suburb of Douma (3 August 2014)'No-one cares'

    Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.