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SKY SACKS FAN FOR 'MURDER' JIBE ON TV; Cracknell taunted Reds after goal.

Byline: by KEVIN CORE & LUKE TRAYNOR

A CHELSEA FC fan was dropped by TV bosses after branding Liverpool supporters "murderers" live on air.

Barry Cracknell made the slur as he took part in Sky Sports' popular FanZone feature during Sunday's Premier League game against Chelsea at Anfield.

The Blues fan audibly called Reds supporters "murderers" as Liverpool celebrated Fernando Torres's late goal.

The taunt is sometimes used by rival fans as an apparent reference to the death of Juventus fans at the Heysel stadium in 1985.

Father-of-one David Dennigan, of Dovecot, was watching the match on Sky with his young son Jack when Mr Cracknell made the comment.

He told the ECHO: "I always turn on FanZone because I cannot bear listening to Andy Gray.

"Most of the time, the fans are quite funny - they have a laugh and a bit of banter, but it is usually good-natured.

"Right near the end of the match, after one of the Torres goals, you could quite clearly hear Barry Cracknell call the Liverpool fans 'murderers'.

"My son was watching with me and we both reacted to it - I was shocked and Jack asked 'what did he mean?'.

"I told him I thought it was a reference to Heysel and he should not be allowed to get away with that sort of comment.

"The Liverpool fan who was watching was so excited about the goal, I do not think he heard.

"Sky must review their clips and they should be having a very close look at this one."

Today, a spokesman for Sky Sports said they had watched the relevant clip and would take action.

It is understood Mr Cracknell will not be invited to take part in FanZone in the future.

The spokesman said: "FanZone commentators are fully briefed about their conduct and we take any lapses very seriously.

"We are taking a very careful look at the FanZone tapes and we will be talking to this fan about the commentary.

"In the meantime, he will not be used on any upcoming games."

FanZone has gained a cult following over the years for its amusing verbal sparring between opposing fans.

The option allows viewers to watch supporters delivering the match commentary.

CAPTION(S):

ANGER: David Dennigan was shocked by a Chelsea fan during Sunday's match; SHOW: Barry Cracknell, right, on Sky Sports' FanZone
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 5, 2009
Words:391
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