The Sky Sports presenter Ben Shepard was forced to apologise after a high profile guest made an offensive joke during the TV show Goals On Sunday. The show featured an interview with the former England manager Terry Venables ahead of the FA Cup Final.
He was talking to Shepard and co host Chris Kamara about a picture taken with Brian Clough, whose team Nottingham Forrest FC Venables faced in the 1991 FA Cup final when he was manager of Tottenham Hotspur FC. The picture is of the two manages holding hands. The 71 year old ex-manager said: “As I come out he grips my right hand with his left hand and I’m clamped, I’m clamped.”
He then appears to say something about how he and Clough “look like a right pair of woofters”. Chris Kamara laughs at the joke, but Ben Shepard quickly moves the conversation along to another topic.
Some users took to the social media website Twitter to talk about the comments. Alan Machnik said: “Terry Venables on Goals on Sunday using the phrase ‘couple of woofters’. Apparently he’s now booked for Top Gear to talk about black people.” Meanwhile, Barry Collins tweeted: “Whoops. A bit of low-level homophobia from Terry Venables on Goals on Sunday. That’ll do his job prospects the world of good.”
Ben Shepard apologised for the former England manager’s comments after the interview.
Richard Lane, who is a spokesperson for the gay rights organisation Stonewall, said: “This kind of language might have been acceptable in 1991 but seems really rather dated in Britain today.”
Goals On Sunday is a Sky Sports TV show that often has guest analysts looking through the highlights of a particular week’s football games. The guests will share an insight into the games and tells some amusing anecdotes about their own footballing experiences.