The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool

Kevin Meagher reports on the continuing antipathy between Liverpool fans and Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper.

Liverpool Kop

The travails of News International show no sign of abating. Mired in the current controversy surrounding the News of the World’s hacking of mobile phone messages, its sister paper, The Sun finds itself dogged by an earlier controversy.

The Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 saw 96 Liverpool football fans – men, women and children – crushed to death at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football ground during a FA Cup semi final match on April 15th, 1989. Altogether, 766 people were injured, a result of the police’s failure to manage the crowd properly.

In its coverage of the tragedy, The Sun newspaper made a series of baseless allegations that Liverpool fans urinated on the dead and looted their pockets, attacking rescue workers trying to help the injured.

The memory of this appalling calumny sees Liverpudlians observe a boycott on Rupert Murdoch’s cash-cow newspaper to this day. The anger still echoes. Former Liverpool football legends Ray Houghton and Ronnie Whelan (both former Irish internationals) were due to appear on RTE television’s ‘Premier Soccer Sunday’ show on May 1st, a programme sponsored by the Irish edition of The Sun.

However. BBC Northern Ireland reported last night that both men will no longer appear on the programme. Liverpool fans had been incensed at the thought of anyone connected with the club being seen to endorse The Sun, especially in a week that saw the 22nd anniversary of the tragedy.

Pat McDermott, treasurer of West Belfast Liverpool Supporters Club, said his members had been discussing the issue on Monday night.

“From the feelings expressed there, I think people will be delighted that they aren’t taking part in the show.

“Non Liverpool supporters do not realise the levels of antipathy of Liverpool fans towards the Sun and by extension the Irish Sun.”

The background to the story is captured by Irish journalist Hugh O’Connell.

Uncharacteristically, the Irish edition of The Sun said it did not wish to make a comment; what a shame the paper was not similarly lost for words back in 1989.

23 Responses to “The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool”

  1. Gordon

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher #donotbuythesun #dontbuythesun

  2. Darren Jalland

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool //bit.ly/eF2pXa #dontbuythesun

  3. DemocracyFail

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  4. Tom Archibald

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //t.co/JA9BuGh #LFC

  5. Tim Ireland

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  6. paul matthams

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  7. Eric The Fish

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  8. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  9. Liverpool Fan

    The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool | Left Foot Forward: Liverpool-Kop The Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 sa… //bit.ly/fAy9bi

  10. Jezza

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher >>proud of Liverpool

  11. Martin Johnston

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  12. David Cauchi

    The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: The Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 saw 96 Liverpool football fans – men… //bit.ly/eePQf5

  13. Brian Moylan

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool: //bit.ly/heju2M writes Kevin Meagher

  14. Mike King

    Incisive commentary on the revulsion felt for The Sun by the City of Liverpool //ht.ly/4EuIX

  15. Alexis Albert von Wallenstein

    It is complete puzzle how Australian old Mr. Murdoch has in Britain remained untouchable. It is well known that in all his organization he is a micro-manager. He is involved in every detail of important things. So how was he ignorant of all the wiretapping especially against the Royal Family members? I believe most truly that some powerful people must be afraid of Mr. Murdoch. Is he holding some important secrets against the Royal Family or important members of the English establishment that it is well known he hates? Through my worldwide experience and observation of politics this is what I believe although I do not use the word blackmail. So why is Mr Murdoch protected? Something stinks.

  16. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin Meagher – Would this pointless article have anything to do with the fact the Scottish Sun has (rightly) backed Alex Salmond in the forthcoming election in Scotland?

    A few scalleys don’t buy Britain’s most popular newspaper, the one that supported Labour up until Brown was forced on the country without a vote (same with the Labour Party). Big deal.

    The Sun backs winners – It never was “The Sun Wot Won It” but they know which way the wind blows and it seems, in common with a lot of Labour supporters, you clearly don’t.

    Do you have nothing positive to say about the Labour Party Kevin?

  17. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse that has nothing to do with this.

    I think that newspaper coverage of Hilsborough was a complete disgrace.

    And what’s more, I notice there’s been a bit of coverage in the media recently about bringing back standing areas in football grounds. If that were ever to happen, I think it would be a tremendous insult to the memory of the disaster.

  18. Steven David Baird

    RT @leftfootfwd: The Sun still does not shine in Liverpool //bit.ly/eF2pXa Reminds me again why I hate the Murdoch press

  19. Hugh O'Connell

    The Whelan/Houghton/Irish Sun/RTE saga gets a plug on @leftfootfwd – //bit.ly/eFyltD

  20. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – With Labour currently tanking in the polls despite the coalition unpopular cuts everyone knows they are due to be whacked in the election north of the border.

    The author here is just annoyed that the most popular newspaper in the country is not supporting Labour but with Ed Miliband at the helm why would they?

    There is no other reason to bring this silly story up Mr.Sensible – why not bring up the fact the Daily Mirror put our troops in harms way with faked photographs?

    Anyway you still haven’t commented on the fact the Guardian’s tax avoidance exceeds that of the banks. Well?

  21. John Ruddy

    @ Anon E Mouse
    Perhaps the article is in reponse to the abuse that some so-called Manchester United fans leveled at Liverpool fans – citing some of the totally unfounded allegations that the Sun chose to print over 20 years ago.

    Not everything is a dig at the SNP.

  22. Unite aim to bury the Digger for good | Left Foot Forward

    […] This pollution includes the contemptuous way his papers treat working-class people – not least the Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough, and who they smeared in a way my city – this city – will never forget. […]

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