Saturday 22 July 2017

Former darts champion Eric Bristow sparks fury over football abuse tweets

Five-time world darts champion Eric Bristow. Photo: Getty Images
Five-time world darts champion Eric Bristow. Photo: Getty Images

Five-time world darts champion Eric Bristow sparked outrage on social media on Monday with comments about the ongoing child abuse scandal in sport.

The 59-year-old launched into a Twitter rant in which he said "dart players tough guys footballers wimps".

He added that had been a victim of abuse he would have sought revenge as an adult and claimed he was glad he was a darts player and a "proper man".

The series of posts drew fierce criticism, including from Steve Walters, one of the former footballers to have spoken out about his abuse at the hands of convicted paedophile and former Crewe coach Barry Bennell, who tweeted: "Disgusted with Eric Bristows remarks tonight #stoneagementality."

So far more than 20 former footballers have come forward alleging they were victims of child abuse as junior players, Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has said. Numerous police forces are also investigating the allegations.

Bristsow wrote: "Might be a looney but if some football coach was touching me when i was a kid as i got older i would have went back and sorted that p**f out."

Another Tweet said "bet the rugby boys are ok" - prompting a reply from Brian Moore, the former England hooker who himself was abused as a child.

"I'm not even going to address the many reasons these tweets are wrong. I'll just say ignorance is no excuse for this idiocy," Moore wrote.

Bristow - awarded an MBE in 1989 - received widespread condemnation for his comments, but continued, adding: "Trouble is nowadays you cant tell the truth.

"Everybody that works on tv is frightened to say the truth because they are frightened to lose their job. Life shouldnt be like that."

Bristow is currenty a pundit for Sky Sports on their darts coverage. Sky Sports was contacted for comment.

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