Eric Bristow sacked after sparking outrage for calling footballers 'wimps' in sex abuse scandal

Darts legend Eric Bristow has caused uproar after a series of insensitive tweets about the football sex abuse scandal. Photo / Getty Images.
Darts legend Eric Bristow has caused uproar after a series of insensitive tweets about the football sex abuse scandal. Photo / Getty Images.

Eric Bristow, the former darts world champion, has lost his role as a commentator on Sky Sports' darts coverage after causing outrage for suggesting football abuse victims are not "proper men" because they didn't "sort out" their abusers later in life.

Five police forces are investigating after more than 20 former footballers came forward with allegations of sex abuse in the sport.

But Bristow, 59, said the alleged victims should have stood up to their abusers.

Eric Bristow, the former darts world champion, has lost his role as a commentator on Sky Sports' darts coverage after causing outrage for suggesting football abuse victims are not "proper men" because they didn't "sort out" their abusers later in life.

Five police forces are investigating after more than 20 former footballers came forward with allegations of sex abuse in the sport.

But Bristow, 59, said the alleged victims should have stood up to their abusers.


"Dart players tough guys footballers wimps," he continued. "U got to sought him out when u get older or dont look in the mirror glad i am a dart player proper men," he wrote.

"Trouble is nowadays u cant tell the truth what do u feel out there tweet me. Everybody that works on tv is frightened to say the truth because they are frightened to lose their job, life shouldnt be like that.

"U people replying don't twist what i sent out, i tell the truth if u dont like it tough."

A spokesperson for Sky confirmed this morning Bristow would not be used on the broadcaster's darts coverage again, saying: "He was a contributor to our darts coverage in the past but we will not be using him in the future."

Bristow's comments immediately triggered a huge backlash on social media.

Steve Walters, the former Crewe player who is among those to have come forward, tweeted: "Disgusted with Eric Bristow's remarks tonight #stoneagementality."

Former footballer Kevin Kilbane called Bristow a "clown", while Jeremy Vine, the Radio 2 presenter, posted Bristow's comments with the caption: "(a) Footballers bravely speak about childhood abuse they suffered (b) Thousands of people express solidarity and sympathy (c) Eric Bristow."

Another Tweet said "bet the rugby boys are OK", prompting a reply from Brian Moore, the former England hooker who himself was abused as a child. "I'm not even going to address the many reasons these tweets are wrong. I'll just say ignorance is no excuse for this idiocy," Moore wrote.

Bristow - awarded an MBE in 1989 - was due to appear at "An Evening with Darts Legends" at St James' Park on Dec 6.

A Newcastle statement said: "The club will not work with Eric Bristow in the future."

The outrage came after Bennell, the serial paedophile at the centre of the sexual abuse scandal, was taken to hospital after being found unconscious in a Hertfordshire hotel.

The 62 year-old was discovered at the Novotel hotel, in Stevenage, late on Friday evening, and was taken to the town's Lister Hospital, where he remained on Monday.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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