Graeme Souness sorry for The Sun Hillsborough interview

GRAEME SOUNESS has apologised for the “almighty rick” of conducting an interview with The Sun during his time as Liverpool manager.

The former midfielder, who was Reds boss between 1991 and 1994, featured in the newspaper talking about his heart surgery after the FA Cup semi-final replay triumph over Portsmouth in 1992.

The story was held back and published on April 15 – the third anniversary of Hillsborough – which angered Liverpool supporters.

Souness says he made a big mistake speaking to a paper boycotted by fans due to their coverage of the disaster and is deeply sorry for the hurt he caused.

“I accept I made one almighty rick by doing The Sun newspaper. At the time I didn’t realise the strength of feeling against The Sun. When I was manager of Liverpool, there were players in my team dealing with The Sun newspaper. There were ex-players dealing with that newspaper. My problem was that I agreed to do an exclusive with them. The thing that really killed me, and makes me sad today is that the last thing I want to do is upset any Liverpool supporter – especially the people damaged by Hillsborough – in whatever shape or form.”

The interview with Souness was due to go in alongside the match report on April 14 1992 but with the game against Portsmouth going into extra time the deadline was missed and it was held over until the following day.

He added: “There were a series of circumstances. I agreed to have a picture taken after the FA Cup replay against Portsmouth. The game went to extra-time. I said you can only have a picture if we get through. I was in hospital with my girlfriend who is now my wife. We had our picture taken but that was after extra-time and penalties. That picture was meant to go in on the Tuesday but because it had gone to extra-time and penalties, it missed the deadline. So it went in on the Wednesday. The Wednesday was the anniversary of Hillsborough and that killed me. The local journalist for The Sun at the time was Mike Ellis, who was away on holiday and was the one person who could have said to The Sun newspaper’s office, you just can’t do that. So I hold my hands up. I’m still a Liverpool supporter. They are still my team.

“There is no one who hurts more than me whenever the Hillsborough thing is mentioned. It hurts me because I had a great time as a player at Liverpool and I’d like to think I had a great relationship with the supporters at the time, and it hurts me. I can only apologise and it’s something I have to live with.”

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