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Sky News anchor Eamonn Holmes apologises but says he didn't compare bus attack with Hillsborough

By Claire McNeilly

Published 12/05/2016

Police confront West Ham supporters who surrounded and threw missiles at the Man United team bus
Police confront West Ham supporters who surrounded and threw missiles at the Man United team bus
A man caught up in the violence is dragged away from police horses
The bus carrying the Manchester United team is escorted by police after having a window smashed
Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes is unlikely to be disciplined by his employers at Sky News despite a nationwide furore after he appeared to compare the attack on the Manchester United bus to the Hillsborough disaster.

Former Northern Ireland Office minister Maria Eagle was among those leading the torrent of outrage after the Belfast-born TV presenter told viewers of his morning news show that the damaging of the United team bus by West Ham fans on Tuesday night was "going back to the '70s and to the '80s... the type of thing you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough, for instance."

His remarks on Sunrise came just weeks after a jury ruled that Liverpool fans had played no part in causing the 1989 disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium, in which 96 supporters were crushed to death at the Leppings Lane end during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Twitter users, including the daughter of one Hillsborough victim, soon expressed their outrage, suggesting the father-of-four had linked the fans' behaviour with the disaster.

Holmes - who hit back saying he was a football fan and a huge supporter of the Hillsborough families - apologised for his remarks, while also accusing some "snipers" on social media of "stirring up trouble".

But Ms Eagle was unimpressed by the apology and offered to meet up with the 56-year-old - a diehard fan of Liverpool's arch-rivals United - to explain that it was South Yorkshire Police, and not drunken football supporters, who were to blame for the UK's worst sports-related tragedy. The Merseyside Labour MP and shadow sports secretary said: "I'm happy to talk to Eamonn and take him through what happened at Hillsborough. I spend a lot of my time counteracting the myths put out by South Yorkshire Police to evade their failures. I am amazed that somebody who ought to be aware of the details of current news should be so ignorant about Hillsborough."

Sky's willingness to let Holmes conduct his own online defence is understood by media analysts to be a clear indication that the broadcaster will not face any internal action from his employers.

The former UTV news anchorman responded to fury on social media in a series of tweets composed over the course of 20 minutes, insisting no offence was intended and what he said was taken incorrectly.

"The Hillsborough families have suffered enough without distasteful sniping like this," Holmes wrote.

"For the record, there is no comparison between events last night and Hillsborough.

Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, trying to escape severe overcrowding
Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, trying to escape severe overcrowding
Debbie Routledge, a survivor in the Hillsborough stadium disaster 1989
Fans on the pitch at Hillsborough. FA Cup semi final April 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. 96 football fans lost their lives in Britain's worst stadium disaster
Fans receiving attention on the pitch. Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield will always bear the scar of England's worst football tragedy. On April 15th 1989, 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives having gone to watch their side contest an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest
Gill and Brian Caldwell being crushed against the fence in the Liverpool enclosure at Hillsborough
Fans crushed against the perimeter fence at Hillsborough
An injured fan receiveing attention on the pitch
An injured fan sits against the goalpost with his leg in a splint
Fans recieving medical attention on the pitch
Hillsborough disaster policeman looks at a pile of police helmets lying on pitch amongst debris
Police shielding injured fans at Hillsborough
Kevin Williams stretchered off on the Hillsborough pitch during the Hillsborough disaster
Injured fans lie on advertising boards which were used as makeshift stretchers
Victims at the Hillsborough football disaster, 1989
Victims at the Hillsborough football disaster, 1989
Bent and twisted fencing at Hillsborough in the aftermath of the tragedy
A distraught young Liverpool fan in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, his wife Marina and daughter Kelly during the memorial service for the victims of the Hillsborough Tragedy.
Scarves and floral tributes laid at Anfield
Scarves and floral tributes at Hillsborough
A young boy adding to the floral tributes at Anfield's Shankly gates
A message written on a wall remebering the Hillsborough disaster victims
Andrew Devine, coma victim of the Hillsborough football disaster
Hillsborough disaster victim Andrew Devine who is now communicating by pressing a micro switch
Margaret Thatcher at Hillsborough
Anfield fans leave flowers in the nets
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
A sea of flowers at Hillsborough stadium, in memory of the Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough
Hillsborough Memorial
A Liverpool supporter holding a banner
Fans and players observe a minutes silence at Hillsborough
Liverpool's Xabi Alonso wearing a black armband in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster
Liverpool's (left-right) Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger and Steven Gerrard arrive for the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool
Young fans during the screening of the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Goodison Park, Liverpool
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (top row, third left) stands with his team mates, during the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign group embrace as they arrive at Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England
Messages on floral tributes left during the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Hillsborough, Sheffield.
Members of the public and football fans gather together during the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Hillsborough, Sheffield
Liverpool fans pay their respect to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in Market Square, Nottingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 15, 2014. Photo credit: Rowan Staszkiewicz/PA Wire
A Nottingham Forest fan pays his respect to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in Market Square, Nottingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 15, 2014. Photo credit: Rowan Staszkiewicz/PA Wire
A Liverpool fan pays her respect to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in Market Square, Nottingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 15, 2014. Photo credit: Rowan Staszkiewicz/PA Wire
A general view during the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 15, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
96, made up of fans scarves, fills the centre circle before the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 15, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign group march to Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: An Everton fan arrives in Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: The Liverpool FC flag hangs at half mast as fans arrive in Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: The Liverpool and Manchester City players acknowledge a minutes silence for the Hillsborough victims on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign group march to Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Harley Hanson (aged nine) from Sheffield places flowers ahead of the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service at Hillsborough, Sheffield
A fan ties a scarf to the Shankly Gates at Anfield, before the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service
Family members of Keith McGrath lay flowers at the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield, before the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service
A scarf is tied to the Shankly Gates at Anfield, before the Hillsborough 25th Anniversary Memorial Service
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign group march to Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Fans arrive in Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: A woman walks past a Hillsborough tribute banner as fans arrive in Anfield for a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives are attending the service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring during a one minute silence. A total of 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Liverpool supporters hold banners prior to a minute's silence at their match on Sunday
A tribute to the 96 fans who died during the Hillsborough disaster, outside the ground before the Sky Bet Championship match at Hillsborough, Sheffield
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: View of floral tributes laid in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: View of the Hillsborough memorial, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
A badge is shown in memory of the Hillsborough disaster, before the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A young fan stands next to floral tributes laid in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: View of floral tributes laid in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: View of club scarves placed in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: View of floral tributes laid in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
96 empty seats are draped with Liverpool scarves to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster prior to the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on April 12, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
The Liverpool players acknowledge a minutes silence for the Hillsborough victims on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Liverpool scarves cover 96 seats in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago during the FA Cup Semi Final match at Wembley Stadium, London
People leave tributes outside Anfield stadium before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Members of the crowd during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PA
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham shakes hands with former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Daglish before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Members of the crowd during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Members of the crowd during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Liverpool FC supporters applaud during a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives took part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool rang out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Daglish arrives for the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Children lay flowers on the pitch during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LThe 'Eternal Ring' is seen as Liverpool FC fans sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' during a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) arrives with his players to attend a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Hillsborough campaigners Margaret Aspinal and Trevor Hicks during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Current and former Liverpool players during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Liverpool FC supporters clap during a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives took part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool rang out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Flowers and balloons at the side of the pitch during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: An Everton FC supporter holds up a Liverpool FC supporters shirt during a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives took part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool rung out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A banner with former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard is displayed during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Children lay flowers on the pitch during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Former past and present players and managers take their place during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Tributes are placed on the pitch before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Former Liverpool players Bruce Grobbelaar and Phil Thompson (centre) and Alan Hansen during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
People attend a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: A bouquet of flowers in the shape of a football is placed on the pitch before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Fans, relatives and Liverpool FC staff and players during a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives took part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool rung out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: A banner is unfurled in front of supporters before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Former Liverpool players Ian Rush (centre left) and Robbie Fowler (centre) during the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson attend a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (C) sits with teammates as they attend a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Former Liverpool player and BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson arrives for the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers (R), and former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher (C) arrive for a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Two young mascots for Liverpool FC and Everton FC walk hand in hand across the pitch before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: A Liverpool fan deep in thought before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish arrives for the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Manager Jurgen Klopp arrives for the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish arrives for the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: A general view of Anfield stadium before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: A bus displays a message reading 'Remembering the 96' next to it's route information as it drives past Anfield stadium before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Tributes are left outside Anfield stadium before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: People leave tributes outside Anfield stadium before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The congregation gathers before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: People arrive for a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives will take part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool will ring out during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Tributes are left outside Anfield stadium before a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives took part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool rung during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Flowers and football scarves lay in front of the temporary Hillsborough memorial, ahead of a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man prepares to lay flowers bearing a photograph of one of the Hillsborough Disaster victims at the temporary Hillsborough memorial, ahead of a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
People pay their respects at the temporary Hillsborough memorial, ahead of a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Flowers are pictured at the temporary Hillsborough memorial, ahead of a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Seats with the number 96 before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Flowers and football scarves are pictured at the temporary Hillsborough memorial, ahead of a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image was created as an Equirectangular Panorama. Import image into a panoramic player to create an interactive 360 degree view.) People arrive for a memorial service to mark the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, at Anfield stadium on April 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and relatives took part in the final Anfield memorial service for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Earlier this year relatives of the victims agreed that this year's service would be the last. Bells across the City of Liverpool rung during a one minute silence in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives during a crush at an FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1989. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People look at the list of victims' names at the temporary Hillsborough memorial, ahead of a memorial service at Anfield in Liverpool, north west Engand on April 15, 2016, on the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. 96 Liverpool supporters died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield, northern England. 2016 will be the final year a memorial service is held at Anfield. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Roses are placed on the side of the pitch before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Flowers are placed at the Hillsborough memorial before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Roses are carried to be placed at the Hillsborough memorial before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Flowers are placed at the Hillsborough memorial before the last memorial service to be held at Anfield, Liverpool, to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A banner in tribute to the victims of Hillsborough on a shop front outside Anfield, Liverpool, before the last memorial service to be held at the ground to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
People gather at Anfield around the Hillsborough memorial before the last memorial service to be held at the Liverpool ground to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2016. The 96 Liverpool fans died in the crush on the Leppings Lane terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium after going to see their team play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
File photo dated 15/04/1989 of overcrowding at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough. The final annual Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield will take place later to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 15, 2016. Thousands of ordinary fans are expected to gather with the families of those who died in the tragedy to pay their respects one last time at the home of Liverpool FC. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: David Giles/PA Wire
File photo dated 22/04/1989 of fans gathering at Anfield for a ceremony of remembrance following the Hillsborough disaster. The final annual Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield will take place later to mark 27 years to the day since the tragedy claimed 96 lives. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 15, 2016. Thousands of ordinary fans are expected to gather with the families of those who died in the tragedy to pay their respects one last time at the home of Liverpool FC. See PA story MEMORIAL Hillsborough. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

"On the programme I was trying to talk about images we never ever want to see again.

"If anyone concluded anything different, my humblest and most honest apologies. I am a huge supporter of the Hillsborough struggle for justice.

"Last night's events do not remotely register in comparison.

"I am an honest and decent football supporter and man and would never seek to create such an offence. Those who are trying to do so are very wrong.

"Obviously there is no comparison between Hillsborough and the scenes at West Ham last night... I apologise unreservedly if anyone thought I was making that connection."

Holmes, who is married to his This Morning co-host Ruth Langsford, recently sparked a heated debate on social media when he suggested that the late pop star Prince's flamboyant dress sense made him "more of a girls' artist".

A tweet the Northern Irish star posted about the importance of Easter Sunday also provoked some mocking and acerbic responses online.

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