Veteran singer and Hillsborough campaign supporter Gerry Marsden has apologised after fans walked out of a show when he called police "lying b*****ds", his manager has said.
The Liverpudlian agreed to "tone it down" after a "rant" about the devastating report into the disaster and subsequent cover-up at a 1960s show in Darlington on Saturday night, said his manager Robert Pratt.
But he denied reports that the singer had referred to police officers as "pigs" or swore further while on stage.
Mr Pratt said: "Only two people walked out. I never heard him call them pigs. He did rant about the findings but I never heard him say those things.
"Gerry is a very passionate person and is very passionate about the Hillsborough situation and he had been very much involved in it down the years.
"The (theatre) management did make us aware there was a couple who walked out on the night. Gerry and I spoke, and much as it is very close to his heart and he is extremely passionate about it, he agreed that he should tone it down. If it did offend anyone he sincerely apologises."
Marsden has pledged the proceeds of his version of You'll Never Walk Alone to charity and the song is now number 12 in the charts.
The Northern Echo reported a retired police officer who was at the show said: "It was a foul-mouthed tirade and it spoiled our night."
The ex-policeman believed Marsden was criticising all police officers, not just those who failed to keep fans safe at the 1989 disaster or who were involved in the dreadful cover-up. But Mr Pratt insisted: "It was all about Hillsborough, nothing else. He has some good friends in the police, including the chief constable in Liverpool."
A Darlington Civic Theatre spokeswoman said two people left during the performance and others made comments to the box office at the end of the show without making formal complaints.