A Falklands veteran campaigning to have radio pundit Stan Collymore sacked over Twitter comments said his rant against unionists in Northern Ireland was of particular concern.
Last month, the former Liverpool and England player caused outrage with a foul-mouthed outburst saying the pro-British community in Northern Ireland could “F*** off back to Britain”.
A short time earlier, the talkSPORT host said Britain had “thieved” the Falklands.
Although he didn’t mention the 1982 conflict, Collymore angered veterans when he said: “Wasn’t anyone’s. We just thieved it, as we do. What glory, what triumph. A f***ing island with sheep.”
His comments led to a flurry of online responses – including a number who fought to recapture the islands from Argentina.
Dougie Brimson is a spokesman for the campaign to have Collymore sacked by talkSPORT – which is part of the UTV media group. The former RAF engineer was among a delegation that met talkSPORT’s managing director Calum Macaulay earlier this week with the intention of reaching what he called an “amicable solution”.
Mr Brimson said: “The issue of Northern Ireland, as we made abundantly clear to Mr Macaulay, is potentially the more contentious issue.”
Speaking to the News Letter on Wednesday, the RAF veteran said Collymore’s statement, which was issued on Tuesday night, had only served to increase anger amongst the ex-service community.
Collymore said his initial comments had “been taken out of context by some veterans”.
He said: “My comments were meant purely in a historical context ... I did not reference the 1982 conflict and in no way denigrated the work of our troops, nor did I intend to offend or upset any families or colleagues who lost loved ones during this conflict. I am saddened to hear that my comments have been misinterpreted and I categorically wish to state my support for our British armed forces.”
A spokesperson for UTV said: “The views expressed on Twitter last month are not those of UTV. We do not comment on individual presenter matters.”
Collymore’s agent said the pundit was in Brazil covering the World Cup and would not be available for comment until his return in two weeks.