Football commentator Martin Tyler and BBC apologise after he links the Hillsborough disaster to hooliganism

Martin Tyler sparked outrage while speaking on the Radio 4 Today Programme to mark 30 years of the Premier League

Martin Tyler has been forced to apologise after linking the Hillsborough disaster to hooliganism during his appearance on the Radio 4 Today Programme.

The Sky Sports commentator issued a statement via Sky, apologising for the comments that he made.

Speaking during a piece about the 30th anniversary of the Premier League, Martin Tyler reflected on the state of the sport of the time, telling listeners:“You have got to remember football was in a bit of a crisis at that time.

“We weren’t that long after Hillsborough and other hooligan-related issues as well, so it was very much a difficult time for the game generally.”

The Hillsborough disaster shocked the world when 97 people were killed in a fatal human crush during a match at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.

The fatal crush at the Hillsborough killed 97 people and injured 766

Martin Tyler


Martin Tyler at the Premier League Hall of Fame 2022 (Getty Images)

Martin Tyler is a football commentator who has worked at Sky Sports since 1990.

In 2003, Tyler was voted the FA Premier League Commentator of the Decade due to his work with the sport.

Martin Tyler has also provided his voice for the football game series FIFA from 2005 - 2013 and will return for FIFA 23 in October 2022.

  • Age: 76
  • Born: 14 September 1945
  • Partner: Paula Tyler
  • Children: Adam Tyler
  • Wealth: $1.5 million

Since appearing on the Today Programme, Martin Tyler has apologised for his comments.

In a statement released by Sky Sports, the commentator said: "This morning while discussing various crises facing football 30 years ago, I referred to some examples including the Hillsborough disaster and also controversy over hooliganism at matches.

“These are two separate issues. There is no connection at all between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism - I know that, and I was not implying that there was.

"I apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding."

After the broadcast on BBC Radio 4, the BBC shared their own apology via social media, saying: “We regret that we did not robustly challenge Martin Tyler on a comment which appeared to link Hillsborough & hooliganism.

“Martin has since apologised for the comment & clarified that these were separate examples & he did not intend to conflate the two.”


Andy Gray

Andy Gray

Andy Gray is a Scottish football commentator and former football player.

Gray formerly played for a host of teams including Dundee United, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderes.

Gray worked on the FIFA video games as a commentary voice between 2005 - 2010.

Alan Smith

Alan Smith

Alan Smith has worked alongside Martin Tyler as a FIFA video game commentator since 2011 - 2020.

Smith is a former Arsenal striker, where he scored 115 goals for the team.

Alan Smith is now regularly seen in the Sky Sports studio as a studio pundit.

Alan Dowson

Alan Dowson with Martin Tyler

Alan Dowson is an English football manager and former player.

Dowson made 55 appearances in the football league before moving over to non-league football.

Martin Tyler has coached for a number of teams that were managed by Dowson.