Belfast Telegraph

TalkSport listeners 'will miss' Colin Murray

By Allan Preston

Belfast broadcaster Colin Murray is due to present talkSport for the last time today after quitting the station.

In July he said it was "unsustainable" for him to continue to front his popular sports show after a buyout of the station by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which also owns The Sun.

As a committed Liverpool fan, Murray was one of many to boycott The Sun over its reporting of the Hillsborough disaster, where Liverpool supporters were accused of stealing from those who died and obstructing police from helping casualties.

Ahead of his final broadcast, listeners sent messages of support to Murray on Twitter.

Lee Page commented: "When I first heard you, I wasn't sure. But you won me over, and you will be missed."

Murray replied: "Thanks Lee. I've appreciated all your tweets over the years."

Simon Jones said: "Will miss show in my car while working as a sales rep. Loved the banter, knowledge and respect for sport."

"Gonna miss your daily banter chief, like losing a mate", said Ben Turbuck. "Messaging now as you'll be swamped tomorrow. Best of luck for future."

Explaining his decision to leave, Murray posted a statement online in July.

"While there are parts of News Corp that aren't a problem, it is the inevitable future working relationship between talkSport and The Sun that has made my position unsustainable", he said.

"Commercially, I delivered all-time record ratings, and, creatively, I was left along to mould a show of which I was intensely proud."

His message was signed off with the Twitter hashtag #JFT96, referring to the fans killed in the 1989 tragedy.

Demonstrating his popularity with the talkSport audience, the message has since been retweeted 21,000 times and 'liked' 42,000 times.

At the time he was praised by Match of the Day host and former England striker Gary Lineker.

"A man with principles. Well played, Sir," he said.

Lou Brookes, whose brother Andrew had died in the 1989 disaster said: "Another one who has seen sense where that rag is concerned! #JFT96 #Hillsborough."

A spokesman for talkSport said: "It is with much regret that, after three years of working with us, Colin Murray has taken the decision to move on from his presenting role at talkSport this September.

"Colin has been a fantastic asset to the station and, while we respect his decision, we will be very sorry to lose him. We wish him all the best for the future."

This is now the second time Murray has left a radio job in controversy. In 2013, he left the sports programme Fighting Talk on BBC Radio 5 live after making controversial comments about a BBC presenter live on the air.

He said that if given "20 minutes with her, I'm pretty sure I could turn around Clare Balding". He defended his actions saying that his only intention was to mock "idiot views" on homosexuality, but later admitted his comments were "over the line (and) just too much".

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